I was having a discussion with my son a few weeks ago and he said that books will primarily bought using digital media in the not too distant future. No!!!! Now, I personally wouldn't mind a Kindle for reading the newspaper or fun novels, but there is something very satisfying about holding the actual book in your hands. (Unless of course, you are reading a book the size of "War and Peace" while laying in bed and your hands are cramping up from trying to hold the book open.)
I've been an avid reader all of my life, but one of my new hobbies is to collect great books in hardcover format. What makes a book "great?" Personally, I think if it is thought provoking, you learn something along the way, and it changes your world view, it is a great book. I also think it is an individual thing. My list of great books will be different than your list of great books.
A book that I just finished and will be adding to my "library" project is "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. He was a professsor from Carnegie Mellon University, who presented truly a "last lecture," because he had terminal cancer at the time he delivered it. He had an opportunity to look back at his life and figure out the lessons that he learned along the way. One of my favorites was Chapter 16 - Romancing the Brick Wall. He talks about brick walls being "there to stop people who don't want it badly enough." It gave me time to think about the times I was "stopped" and the times I crashed the wall.
This is a quick and delightful read. It is in no way morose. Randy Pausch has a wonderful sense of humor and sense of fun. I'm happy to put this humble little book in my library.
If you don't like to read and would like to see the "last lecture" he delivered at Carnegie Mellon University, here it is:
Warning: It is one hour and 16 minutes long, but worth it.