Lost in much of the hype surrounding new reading technologies is just how firmly entrenched the book has become as a cultural touchstone. In North America alone, the book industry is estimated to be worth more than $25 billion annually. “When something is that present it doesn’t just wither and die instantly,” said Andrew Piper, a professor in the English department at McGill University. Instead, said Piper, it is the role books play in our lives that is likely to change. He pointed out that the printing press didn’t render manuscripts obsolete. They just took a different form, such as notebooks.