For a number of years after the invention of the horseless carriage, its form factor continued to resemble that of the horse drawn carriage. Over time, those similarities became progressively less appropriate, and in some ways they started to become downright inconvenient.
Horse drawn carriages had evolved to optimize for the conditions in which they typically operated — relatively slow speeds, and often very very bad road conditions. So the wheels needed to be huge, with very large clearance between carriage and ground, and the steering mechanism was optimized for this form factor and for slow speeds.
The co-evolution of automobiles and paved roads changed the game completely. Once they could run on more modern roads, and therefore operate at far higher velocity, automobiles quickly evolved in design away from the early “horseless carriage” and toward the form factor we know today.
Today, when books on paper and ebooks coexist, ebooks are still organized into pages, roughly simulating the experience of reading a physical book. But at some point in the near future, physical books might become so marginalized that they will no longer be a driving force in the design of a reader’s experience.
When this happens, the page as a form factor might simply go away, to be replaced by something more appropriate to the experience of reading text on a screen. Just as the form factor of the ancient papyrus — one long continuous sequence of lines of text — was long ago replaced by the discrete random-access structure of text organized into sequential pages of paper, we might soon see another radical change in text organization, as the very concept of a “page” gradually fades into history.