Two main ideas struck me about Wachtell's article:
1. The article raises some very legitimate questions about the perceived value of ebooks. Unfortunately, consumers seem unaware of the costs associated with creating a long-form text. One of the most popular complaints about ebooks seems to be their costs, especially since, people claim, the publishers are saving all that money on printing costs. In reality, the paper and ink used to print a paper text are relatively inexpensive. The majority of the time and resources is invested in developing, editing, reviewing, proofreading, and marketing.
2. I'm not completely clear on how Wachtell includes Web 2.0 (or similar collaborative texts) in his discussion of long-form text. The article seems to privilege the structured process that develops traditional book content which "provide[s] the intellectual scaffolding for our national discourse." However, the author apparently ignores the community-created texts made possible by changing technology and the potential of interactive ebooks for community-driven experiences. (E)Books are no longer simply providing a structure on which to build discourse; they are now perpetually being produced and re-imagined through discourse. How would a Twitter feed or a Tumblr blog fit into Wachtell's idea of content as a window, separate from the window dressing?