"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
This is a very early reference to this idea in science fiction. You might also be interested in the filament paper book from Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune.
It is not clear whether this refers to a very small book that requires some sort of magnification ( a viewer) or possibly an electronic book. An early (unambiguous) reference to the idea of electronic books can be found in Stanislaw Lem's 1961 novel Return from the Stars; see the entry for opton.
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