Speaking at the Guardian Hay Festival, Nadine Gordimer mounted a defense of printed books over digital from a different perspective than the usual arguments about aesthetics or nostalgia, focusing on accessibility by poor and rural populations:
This is a very big question: whether technology will outstrip the printed word. But with a gadget you are always dependent on a battery and on power of some sort. A book won't fall apart; you can read it as easily on a mountaintop as in a bus queue. The printed word is irreplaceable, and much threatened.
More from the Guardian Hay Festival here.