Books are very different objects than buildings, because they embody human purposes in very different ways. We see the hand of the architect in a building, and discern her mind, but books seem, to many of us anyway, to have a more intimate relation to human consciousness. We are usually more sensitive to authors’ intentions than to those of architects. (Whether that shouldbe the case is another story.) All that said, books had to learn too and always have. Homer’s epics had to learn Roman ways: Virgil taught them. Sophocles’ Antigone had to realize, during World War II, that it was fundamentally about the French Resistance. The novels of Jane Austen, written as popular entertainment, have been shoehorned into academic contexts, and have been recalcitrant and slow learners, always insisting on being sources of delight. And don’t get me started on the Bible and Shakespeare.
Viewed in this context, electronic reading is simply another stage in the education of books, and maybe not one of the more eventful ones.