The book itself is a curious artefact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades; even centuries. It doesn’t have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable. If a book told you something when you were 15, it will tell it to you again when you’re 50, though you may understand it so differently that it seems you’re reading a whole new book.
Ursula K. Le Guin
(from Staying Awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading, published in Harper’s Magazine February, 2008.)