Re: Paper and Future-proof
Your arguments are more applicable against the Amazon model than ebooks generally: When you buy an ebook from Amazon you don't own it. What you have is a license to use it for a while. Per their conditions of use Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders at their sole discretion. And, as you say, they are encrypted. Can you imagine if every physical book you owned had its own different lock and key, like church bibles in the days before the printing press? How long before you lost some of the keys, or forgot which belonged to which?
Still, physical books are subject to loss by fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, theft, silverfish, pulp degrading, etc. Insurance might replace your books after a disaster, but they won't be the same editions, and some may not be available at all, even after a long hunt through the online & physical second hand stores. How many copies from a print run of, say, 50,000 are left after 40 or 100 years? It isn't quite in the "yesterday's news, tomorrow's chip paper" category, but not a great percentage.
With other publishers and retailers (e.g. Baen Books and the recently departed Fictionwise.com) you get the book in a choice of formats and *no* DRM. Epub is an open format - basically an xml file in a zip wrapper. A backup of your ebooks can be kept in many locations - on your home PC, on a usb stick at your office, on some cloud service, whatever you want.
Being dropped in a hot bath won't necessarily destroy a book, but it won't do it much good and will show permanent damage even after drying. I have found that a ziplock bag solves the ereader-in-bath problem.
I like my tablet, and keep many books and magazines on it, with the selection changing every few months as the mood takes me. I also still spend far too much money on physical books, both new and second hand. Both have their place.
And as for the paperless office? I've been hearing businesses talk about it for the past 25 years and am still waiting. At least most books published and paper made in Europe, North America and Australasia comes from renewable resources - forest plantations rather than old growth forest.