I don't know why we hold onto The Way Things Were with such tenacity. As for print publishers, they won't disappear altogether, no more than the monks did who hand scribe books. There will be print works, even if in the end it is only Print on Demand or small specialty publishers.
Most new technology is greeted with enthusiasm. I know I cheered when CPM computers became IBM DOS and IBM DOS became Microsoft Windows. I didn't balk when my vinyl records were replaced by cassettes and then by CDs and then by MP3s. I didn't cringe when my huge floppy disks were replaced by smaller ones and then by hard drives inside the computer. Or when the hand wringing washing machine my grandmother used became an electric spinning drum washing machine. Or the television! Big fat boxes became light, thin panels with high definition and 3D.
I don't fear the future and I don't see any reason to fight it. The only thing we can count on is change. What if we didn't have it? Would we rather stand still, tread water, never move forward? Of course not. And even if we would rather remain static, life is not going to oblige us, no matter what we want or how badly we want it.
I like the e-readers with their "ink print like paper print." I like the idea of storage for a library, a machine that will fit in my purse to take along with me so I can open and read one or two or three books at once, if I like, and it takes up so much less space than two or three paperbacks. I just like new things and useful things and things that make my life interesting.
And since we can't stop, much less slow down the future, we might as well embrace it. I love books. I've loved books all my life and always will. But I love the content more than the packaging. It never meant much to me whether I was reading a hard back or a paperback. What was the difference, as long as I got the words, the story? There does not have to be a tug of war about whether e-books are a good technology or whether it is killing off the print book. As long as we have BOOKS, this old world is going to be all right, it's going to be fine. We need our stories and our storytellers. From the monks bent over in candlelight scribbling on parchment to reading on a beach with our e-reader, the important part of the equation is there for us--the book itself. I think that's the part we all hope will survive forever.