I am a firm believe that "in due course" the eBook will sweep away paper for most non-fiction books, and for magazines, newspapers etc etc. but I am bit tired of reading articles like Hi-tech tome takes on paperbacks when it seems always to be just around the corner. "Soon." Like Jam tomorrow.
For most non-fiction, the eBook, "supported" on line at a blog, will be a far superior product.
What's holding it up is the Ergo-eBook hardware: good-looking, well-built, a pleasure to hold and cheap. Please. Soon!
UPDATE: Why, you ask, does this guy keep talking about eBooks? This is a blog about cities not technology. Right? Yes right but wrong. The two are one; the future of cities will be very much influenced though not determined by technology.
But the better answer is simpler. I've been thinking a lot about books as a I blog. Specifically my book ands my blog. I see the convergence of two things: my work on a book --- titled City Comforts by odd coincidence --- and my work on this Blog. Though I've just finished the book, I think of things to add to it, like a simple glossary. (I keep learning new terms like "common man.") But you can't update paper on the fly but have to go through the whole tedious process of dealing with printing, distribution and so forth when all the readers really want is the information in a permanent and easily portable form.
My conjecture is that eBook technology will foster the emergence of what boils down to a new medium: the constantly-revised book. Like a periodical, newsletter etc it will be amenable to continual refreshment and updating; like a book, it will have permanence and the reader will have to pay. The publishing industry appears to be scared --- as well it should --- by the eBook; there is absolutely no justification for book prices as they are now except the the costs of printing and marketing. Take away all of the former (of course there will still be 'pre-press' costs of research, editing, composition, design, etc.) and a majority of the latter (there will still be distribution costs but dramatically lower) and what is happening to music distribution will soon happen to publishing. As an author, I welcome this change. But it will create enormous turmoil in the publishing sector.
The key, as I perceive it, is the hardware.