Writer Doug Toft finished reading a big book on his Kindle, and noted the positives and negatives of ebooks, ending with a pensive quote from David Byrne.
Byrne is right to be concerned about the persistence of ebooks. Ebooks and PDFs will last only as long as there is technology – hardware and software combined – to run and display them.
Consider that most of the books and artifacts of written language we have from the ancient world survived by accident, before the age of temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms, before the age of professional librarians. We have a great understanding of paper’s tolerances and preserving books and paper is not that expensive, overall. Digital objects are, by comparison, more fragile and, as Byrne notes, more ephemeral.