Nick Carr predicts:

[T]he model of book reading (and hence book writing) the iPad promotes seems fated, in time, to become the dominant one. The book itself, in this model, becomes an app, a multihypermediated experience to click through rather than a simple sequence of pages to read through. To compete with the iPad, the current top-selling e-reader, Amazon's Kindle, will no doubt be adding more bells and whistles to its suddenly tired-seeming interface.

This may indeed happen and it may indeed change the way "books" are "read". But I remain convinced that there is a singular experience - of devoting time to read a writer's sustained and crafted words of more than, say, 50,000 words - that cannot be supplanted by anything else. Maybe this solitary absorption of another's words will become the activity of a precious few. But anyone seeking wisdom or learning over knowledge and entertainment will still look for it. And treasure it.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to