Sunday, October 30, 2005

More thoughts on the future of the book. We've been discussing the future of just about everything and I'm still thinking about the book. I don't know if transfering print books to online formats is the best idea, but some people seem to like it. My thought is that it's a whole different creature so why work so hard to make it look like a real book! Why do they have page numbers and margins and paragraphs? For that matter, why do they put one page of text per screen so you have to keep clicking to the next page? That's a bit annoying. This is all structural change though, as I said before. It's not content change. Perhaps this structure change is so huge that content change will be necessary.

I think of my sister and others who play computer games. No simple Tetris, mind you. These seem to be pretty involved and well thought out worlds with players who are joining you from around the world. They're creating a story as they play the game. It's a living, evolving story. Is this the future of books? A story that's interactive and visual and created by more than one person? How can you share a story like this with others? How can you pass it down through the generations?

Perhaps this will just be one recognized genre. It still seems unlikely that a paper-based book you hold in your hands will ever go away.

2 comments:

@bdul muHib said...

I like your rabbit trails of thought on books- and I mean that in a very positive sense. It sounded really interesting. I think though electronic form is only going to work when we get the Star Trek readpads- for now, it's just too uncomfortable reading an ebook on a computer, even a laptop.

@bdul muHib said...

Have you seen Amazon Shorts? New section on Amazon.com, under their directory- short books available on different subjects, all digital, 49 cents each. Reminded me of what you were talking about in this post.