I wonder if there are people out there collecting the history of the e-book. It would be a fascinating collection that would be part library and part technological museum. You would have to be not only a bibliophile but a technophile. The collection would contain any number of works as well as reading devices, floppy disks, early computer models and other gadgets.
William Gibson's Agrippa, A Book of the Dead, would be in the collection. It might be the centerpiece of the collection. I guess it is not properly the Gutenberg Bible of e-books but it may be its First Folio. An amphibian in many ways. E-book as artist's book. The main hook was that the floppy disk erased itself if you read it and the entire piece was designed to disappear or give that impression. Interestingly, Carl Weissner intended this to happen with Klacto #3. When he created it he was sure the ink would disappear in 20 years or so. He was actually depressed that copies persisted over time. The wikipedia page on Agrippa looks pretty good:
Here are a bunch of images:
Deluxe copies were $2000 when the "book" came out and it is a bit of a mystery how many copies exist. No copies are on Abebooks. They may be impossible to get a hold of. I admit I do not know much on the topic, but it seems to me that at some point in the future there will be an amphibian book dealer who will sell books as a technology and the early technologies of the digital age associated with e-books and the like. I am not aware of such a dealer currently in the ABAA universe. This dealer would exhibit at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair and the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Am I wrong? Please tell me if I am.