I read two articles about books and their future this morning. The Millions has a feature on Tumblr’s Reblog Book Club. It’s a refreshing example of creating space for productive discussion online. Om Malik also has an interview up with Matt MacInnis, CEO of Inkling. The idea of unbundling everything we use the book for into its component pieces really appeals to me.
Ebooks are here to stay because digital is, and quite shortly we’ll stop having this debate about paper vs ebooks because it will no longer make a lot of sense.
What’s most revealing about this study is that, like earlier research, it suggests that students’ preference for printed textbooks reflects the real pedagogical advantages they experience in using the format: fewer distractions, deeper engagement, better comprehension and retention, and greater flexibility to accommodating idiosyncratic study habits.
Or, put another way, it shows that students who were taught to read through printed texts still have a bias toward that medium as they grow older. Humans are highly adaptable creatures and I’d bet the preference these students have is more a result of pedagogy than the inherent values of digital texts.
I think we won’t truly see the effects of digital books until these studies focus on students who learned to read on digital devices. In other words, people who don’t look at an iPad or Kindle as an e-book but, rather, just as how you read.
Earlier today I started Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I’m already half-way through reading it. A fantastic read with the right mix of tech, books, and intrigue.
I strongly believe digital books benefit from public endpoints. The current generation of readers (human, not electronic) have formed expectations about sharing text, and if you obstruct their ability to share — to touch — digital text, then your content is as good as non-existent. Or, in the least, it’s less likely to be engaged.
Word. Art Space Tokyo is a gorgeous site and I bet will drive a lot of digital sales, in addition to readers.
Tap Left Margin -> Next Page; my favorite feature of the iPad. This means I can comfortably read while drinking tea and not worry about which hand holds my iPad.
The majority of the time I’m reading a book I just want to go forward. It always felt clumsy to swipe with my left thumb. Advancing with just a tap means the device never breaks my flow.