Along with many other aspects of north american culture, literary studies is being swept into the digital age. In considering what this might mean, I examine in particular how the Internet, with its many and protean conveniences for literature, is beginning to supplant the library, that traditional bastion of the text. The prospects for literature are not necessarily favorable. While libraries have been attempting to adapt to the Internet, the nature of the digital medium and some of the rhetoric that has attended it invoke troubling questions, raising the possibility that central features of literary studies may be in danger of being disregarded or marginalized. The digitizing of literature affects how we read and what we read, methods of study, the preservation of the archive, and the forms taken by new writing, some of which is specifically designed to exploit the electronic medium. In this paper I offer a sketch of the problems, possibilities, and paradoxes that we face as literary scholars.