Despite the all-digital-all-the-time form of Epstein's vision, he argues that physical books will remain necessary.
Digital content is fragile. The secure retention, therefore, of physical books safe from electronic meddlers, predators, and the hazards of electronic storage is essential. ... actual books printed and bound will continue to be the irreplaceable repository of our collective wisdom.His business model of decentralized digital publishing does not, however, explain how that will be financed.
At the end, he points to his stacks of books to show his allegiance to the material tome. But his entire piece emphasizes "the inevitability of digitization as an unimaginably powerful, but infinitely fragile, enhancement of the worldwide literacy on which we all—readers and nonreaders—depend."
But considering how unpredictable the short history of textual digitization has already been, who can say whether and in what regard he is right?