This is number four on the list of things predicted to disappear in my/our lifetime. Oh dear. Doomsayers have been sighing over the demise of the book for years. They're right, of course. They're also wrong. There's so much to say about this that I hesitate to begin because there's too much to cover in a blog. There is not a day goes by that I don't think about the parlous state of books, reading, writing, hey! - thinking. And there is not a day goes by that I don't read, write and think. Of course, we all know that far too many books are being published. For a reader that's daunting because how are you ever going to read them all? Silly question. For a writer that's even more daunting because how is anyone ever going to read your work? Pause here while we talk about the joy of writing in and of itself and who cares about the reader? That won't do. A reader is a given, it's an essential part of the equation; it closes the connection between me and thee, or whomever. Remember Voltaire and i'm going to mess up the quotation but it goes something like "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend with my life your right to say it." By say, he meant write; he was talking about freedom of expression, also known as free speech which to this day still has to be protected and defended. Books help. I may not read all of them, only a tiny fraction of a percentage of them but I will defend the right of all of them to exist. I may not care about the articulation of a butterfly's wing but some people do and I am grateful to the person who writes about it for adding to our store of knowledge, however esoteric. That being said, we're not talking about that, are we? We're talking about the physical property of a book, a collection of printed pages bound together to create an object that may be stored on a shelf after reading (or before - it takes me a while to get around to reading all the books I buy). That's what the doomsayers are gloomily saying will disappear. The thinking is that with electronic books so readily available it will no longer be necessary or desirable to bother with a book. I'm tired of arguing. I don't have time for this. I'm going to read a book. But I'm not through with this.