По крайней мере в одном отношении: налаженного процесса их производства. Может быть, ждать этого в эпоху перехода и не нужно. Но хочется, а пока всё так, как пишет The Economist:
As we worked through the underbrush of our own making, and cut a clear path from the source file form which the print book and PDF were made to export an EPUB, we faced a “fork” in the road. Should we create an almost-done EPUB from InDesign and then twiddle it further? Doing so would break the chain, and require any typos or other fixes to the source document to be made separately in the EPUB file, which increased the chance of other errors. In the end, InDesign proved malleable enough. (Pedants may tut-tut your correspondent, and note there are many paths to an EPUB. Yet, having consulted with many experts, they all have their own zigs and zags.)
As toil proceeded intermittently on the EPUB across a period of three weeks of frustration and revision, the printer rendered our files into billions of dots and sent page and colour proofs; produced printing plates and slapped ink on tens of thousands of sheets of paper; folded, sewed, cut and bound editions; debossed a cloth cover and pushed white foil into some of it; packed up boxes and piled pallets; and shipped over a tonne of books to four warehouses, whence 1,200 books were wrapped individually and sent on their way to backers. (Attentive readers will note 300 remain for sale.)
While hundreds (or thousands, counting warehouse and postal workers) were involved in nearly perfect production and distribution of these hardcover books, Babbage hardly broke a sweat. The production of a book has changed drastically in all the particulars of how words and images move from the mind through intermediaries onto a page. But in the larger scheme, a printed book remains an object of the 1500s, with all the advantages of a process perfected across the centuries. E-books will get there. Just not today.