If e-books mean there will be no traditional bookstores left, I think the saddest thing about that will be the loss of being able to find the 'accidental' book. I love browsing in old bookstores and I cannot tell you how many books I have stumbled across that are now old favourites and a few, that were no less than life changing.
One such book that has a major influence on me as I try to be a better writer is 'The Writers Journey' by Christopher Vogler. Mine is the 3rd Edition.
The blurb on the back says that the book is 'an international best seller and one of the most influential writing books in the world!' Quite a hype to live up to - and I think it does.
First, it is a beautiful book. It is a weighty tome, serious and substantial but very easy to read. Secondly, the illustrations by Michele Montez are beautiful and make you want to linger and study them before moving on. Thirdly, it makes you think!
I now read novels and watch movies in a completely different way. Voglers book explains storytelling paradigms through myths and step-by-step explanations on plot and characters using popular examples such as Star Wars and Titanic. It has given me a new depth of understanding into my own writing and a framework so that now, I can see why certain things don't work and why others do.
Educational, interesting and quite frankly, inspirational, I would recommend this to anyone who loves the art and craft of story-telling.