If I have one wish in this life, it's that books - in their physical form - never become outdated. Don't get me wrong here. I think that there is definitely a niche and a market for online stories. I have partaken in such things myself, writing short stories that are only available online. However, nothing really beats going down to my local bookstore (or ordering online) a brand new book that I can hold in my hands. A book that I can bring with me to the coffee shop. A book that I can sit on my patio and read. A book that will stare at me as it sits on my nightstand, begging me to open it up and read it's beautiful muse. Kind of like my cat when it wants to be fed, but more sincere.
The appreciation for the written word hasn't died down in my opinion. Even with the rise of online this and web that, I think there will always be a love for a physical novel in one's hands, a tome of endless adventures and romance that we can get lost in whenever we so choose.
Just recently, I headed down to my local Borders and, with one of their generous coupons, purchased a new novel to read. Granted, I have a half dozen novels on my bookshelf that are still only half read or haven't been opened up at all. But I love the experience of purchasing a new book and I don't think that anything quite equals the ecstatic joy that I feel when I do. And at only a couple of dollars, who could pass up such an opportunity?
For those that are curious, I picked out Star Wars: Allegiance by Timothy Zahn. Star Wars books have been some of my favorite since high school and I don't think that will ever change. Timothy Zahn is a craftsman in the Star Wars universe, quickly becoming one of my favorite authors for the series next to A. C. Crispin who did the Han Solo Trilogy.