"brown and charred rags that... I presently recognized as the decaying vestiges of books. They had long since dropped to pieces, and every semblance of print had left them. But here and there were warped boards and cracked metallic clasps that told the tale well enough. Had I been a literary man I might, perhaps, have moralized upon the futility of all ambition. But as it was, the thing that struck me with keenest force was the enormous waste of labour to which this sombre wilderness of rotting paper testified."
The time-traveller discovers that our future selves have evolved into two separate species: infantile, dim-witted Eloi and blood-thirsty Morlocks. Despite their extreme differences they share at least one significant characteristic: they are both illiterate.
This doesn't bode at all well for Brewster Kahle's attempt to warehouse every book he can get his hands on - a fact reported in Anon (2011) "Internet Archive founder turns to new information storage device – the book", The Guardian, 01/08, accessed 01/08/2011 at, http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/01/internet-archive-books-brewster-kahle
For a non-paper copy of The Time-Machine click the image of the book above.