For the first time in history (I seem to using that phrase a lot at the moment), ebooks now outsell hardcover books on Amazon (read the report here).
You can also listen to an excellent speech by Seth Godin to a publisher, in which he talks about the glorious past and the frightening future of the publishing industry. Click here for the MP3 file link.
The publishing industry provides a superb example of what is happening in almost every industry. Almost every aspect of business is being impacted by changes in technology, industry structures, demographics, environmental issues and shifting social values. This will require companies to change dramatically, or risk becoming irrelevant. The music industry is well down this path of irrelevance already. The book publishing industry is following closely behind them. And the hardcover book is probably the best example of a remnant of the old days (and the “how do we make more money by screwing over our customers” style of business).
The times, they are a-changing.