"IT", of course, being the be all and end all to electronic publication, wiping out pub papers in one final death knell.
I have read several reviews of the iPad, so I am not sure who to credit for the next thought, only to confess it is not mine. The review that stands out for me is one that said the iPad doesn't bring anything new to the game. This reviewer said that to be the killer application in the category, the successful electronic reader will have to be unobtrusive, so good we don't notice it, like, you guessed it, a magazine or book. You can sit on a magazine or book, roll up a magazine, in other words, spindle and mutilate it, and it still functions. You can throw it away when you are done with it.
Electronic readers are just not that forgiving -- yet. What this says, though, is that an electronic reader, to be a fully functional replacement, is going to have to be cheap, lightweight, and flexible. Maybe a collection of electronic circuits printed on a special paper substrate. Maybe cheap enough you use it for a week or two and then throw it away when the electrical charge runs out.
Many things started out as quasi-permanent fixtures, only to be replaced by disposable versions. Men's razors are a good example. The old straight razor was often kept for years, perhaps even handed down from generation to generation.
I don't have any attachment to the current blade set in my razor handle at the moment.
Special dielectric papers with a charge built in, could, perhaps, be disposed of in a way that is harmless to the environment. We really do not know the bounds of technology in this area yet.