Books were like print-outs, with text on both sides of the paper, fastened together along one side with stitching (in older books) or glue. The pages, or papers, were numbered sequentially. There were front and back covers, hard or soft, usually with some kind of graphic design; sometimes real thought went into these graphics, just as it did for record jackets. The graphics, of course, did not change or stream.
The paper pages were surprisingly sophisticated. They could move backwards or forwards (turn) without clicking; a user could make notes directly on them with ink (pen) or graphite (pencil) styluses. Liquid spills were not recommended, but did not disable them. As long as the font was large enough, they were very easy on the eyes. They used no power.