adventures in dysthymia

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Future of the E-Book

The e-book and the various readers intended for its viewing has made some noteworthy strides in the last few years. It's still not anywhere from ideal, of course, but getting better.

I suspect that the dedicated reader's time has already come and gone. More and more, the line between them and smart phones and tablet computers is becoming less clear. If the devices on which we read our e-books become increasingly capable, so should the e-books themselves.

The artistic element of the book has largely been set aside, but that will change. More interesting fonts, designs, illustrations -- all these are aspects that should come in the future. There will be an increasingly multi-media feel to the e-book, as well.

Right now, epub or mobi or other similar e-book formats provide easy readability and relatively small files, but we do give up many things we expected from printed books. The venerable PDF is truly better in this respect but the files are larger and the pages don't always display that well on small e-reader screens. It would remain my choice for reading poetry or anything that calls for a static layout.

And, of course, for reading on a computer. I'll admit I do not own a dedicated e-reader nor, for that matter, the smart phone or tablet PC. I'm sitting in front of a big screen when I read an ebook. That does make a difference!

Some of the things to expect in the future? I'm sure that readers will also be talkers. The e-book will also be an audio book if we prefer to listen. There will be embedded videos, interviews with the author and such. Plenty of linking to just about anything. Full integration with computers and all their power.

Reading will become very much a Star Trek experience. We'll be like Geordie talking to the computer. But probably no holograms!

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A little mention that I started up another Blogger blog, one for publishing news that I have named The Arachis Press. The addy for now is arachispress.blogspot.com but I may link it to an insolentlad address like I have here at the Lucky Lad.

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