Editing as we know it today employs both the heart and the mind. Perhaps for some non-fiction books, a robotic editor or some software program will be able to improve upon a writer’s work, but I doubt that any technical discovery can ever replace the human spirit. How an editor feels upon reading a book and how that translates into his or her critique will ensure their continuing employment. With the growth of self-publishing, we’ve seen too many books that have reached the public without being edited with disastrous results. The reading public has noticed and has become twice shy about self-published books. Because of this problem, I forsee a growth in this part of the industry.
I don’t think we can begin to understand what reading in the future will look like. It may come to us through glasses we wear or through texts projected on our walls from libraries around the world. The printed word will always be with us. I don’t believe that books as we know them today will disappear. There is something about paper, our link with nature, that will keep all those treasured books in our midst.