Books: the idea, cont’d: interactive multimedia crowdthingy

Posted by Rob Walker on April 5, 2010
Posted Under: "Social" studies,Entertainment,Things/Thinking

For obvious reasons the discussion of the idea of books has focused quite heavily on the e-variety these last few days, as speculation abounds over The Meaning of the iPad For The Printed Word.

The Telegraph reports on a book that will have a sort of instant sequel “assembled from the best comments by readers of” the author’s Website. A publishing type who is involved comments:

With devices like the iPad nearly at our shores and more routes for communication than ever before, I believe that especially in non-fiction, the distance between the author and reader should start to disappear. Authors will become more like curators and take influence from their readers’ suggestions during and after they have written their work.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Carr suggests that what we’re headed for is books becoming multimedia apps, in a sort of post-reader world. He quotes some other publishing-world guy:

“The definition of the book itself seems up for grabs,” he said at a recent media industry powwow. Unlike traditional e-book readers, which had a rather old-fashioned attachment to linear text, the iPad opens the doors to incorporating all sorts of “cool stuff,” Makinson continued. “We will be embedding audio, video and streaming into everything we do.” He foresees sprinkling movie clips among Jane Austen’s paragraphs in future editions of “Pride and Prejudice.”

Hm. What do you think?

Perhaps I’ll “curate” the best of your responses into a follow-up post!

With video?

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page. Tags:

Reader Comments

The book will remain the book. The CD-ROM didn’t kill the book, and neither did hypertext (both were supposed to, within the last two decades); neither did TV or radio, or the movies. The book didn’t kill the theater. They’re all different mediums, and maybe some things (long-form non-fiction, perhaps) will migrate away from books, or maybe not. But the book is a good medium: it’s been with us for a long time and I have faith in its ability to abide a good while longer.

Written By jkd on April 5th, 2010 @ 6:43 pm
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