Almost a quarter of the 1,324 industry professionals who took part in the survey predicted that the high street bookseller would no longer exist in 2057 while only 11% thought that the printed book would be obsolete.
Just a cursory reading of that stat sort of invalidates the scare headline "Short shelflife for booksellers, industry figures claim" , i.e. something less than 25% of industry figures claim. And that 11%? Yep, that's overwhelming. . .
I have a problem with printed book obsolescence. Information delivery technologies are only made obsolete by technologies that do exactly the same thing. Illuminated hand-written manuscripts were made obsolete by the printing press, but hand-drawn illustration was not made obsolete by photography. Not the same thing. CDs made LPs obsolete, but didn't kill cassette tapes. It took CDRs and MP3s to do that.
eBooks will not kill printing because
- books are cheap
- books do not require software maintenance
- books are permanent and stable storage devices that will be readable indefinitely
- books have no power requirements
- books can be transferred without concerns for hardware platforms or DRMS
- books are simple and straightforward to use without any training beyond basic literacy
- books do not require another, more expensive, device to read them
In order for eBooks to make the printed book obsolete, they would have to be comparably priced, self-reading (i.e. you purchase one object, you have the book) and free of most of the issues of obsolescence and power requirements of "traditional" eBooks.
Frankly, that might have to wait until after the singularity. . .