Do you think the book is here to stay?
"Hypertext seldom exists as pure text without any graphics. Today, hypertext is usually hypermedia, as it is on the World Wide Web, and hypermedia offers a second challenge to the printed book." (Bolter).
I took this quote from Bolter because I think it supports the answer I am going to provide for this question. I want to first touch on the fact that it is very true that hypertext generally does not exist without any images to support it. I think this is the case mostly because images supporting text has become very appealing to people. In fact, I find myself often looking at the images on a web page and maybe a small description below them to decide whether or not the surrounding text is what I was looking for.
I see how this can be challenging the printed book because, with the exception of recently published books, books generally are not overly filled with images. It is difficult in a book to remember where you read an interesting quote, or where you found a paragraph you want to use for a paper unless you are very diligent at marking it down. With the Internet, you can simply bookmark the page, or copy and paste the link and desired text to a word document for later review. Books will never have this capability, unless they are being reviewed on a digital device such as the kindle. Coming full circle to answer the posted question, I think the book is here to stay. However, I think that traditional, must read books will be the books of choice for most. This type of book is one that you would gain a different experience from reading a tangible copy in a cozy chair, rather than reading reviews on the Internet about it. Other than this type of book, I can foresee us finding anything we need on the Internet. As a lasting comment, I also think that book publishers should stop trying to add too many pictures to books to simulate the experience one can find on the Internet. I do not think this will extend the life of the book, as people are not looking for an "Internet" experience when they decide they are going to read a book; they are looking for that stable, comforting experience, in my opinion.
http://tashian.com/carl/docs/compbook/ (Here is a link that provides information relevant to my blog post. It is interesting because this article looks more like it came from a book rather than a posting on the internet. It lacks any extensive visuals or hyperlinks).