Watching Stephen Fry's excellent TV programme "Planet Word" over the weekend, which this week was all about the written word, I was struck by one quote on the wall of a featured American bookshop which kind of sums up the whole spendour of the book in its physical form. I'm not sure that you could apply the same thoughts to a Kindle or other such electronic device:
“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind.
Books are humanity in print.” ― Barbara W. Tuchman