The future of the book

I’ve visited a lot of libraries in the past month. In almost all of them we have strayed onto the topic of e-books, specifically those available as interactive reading experiences for the iPad.

I’m finding myself an e-vangelist for the iPad reading experience (maybe I should become a consultant) not just with the dedicated folk who staff libraries and inspire young readers, but with fellow authors. Why? Because I’m genuinely excited by the possibilities of these new storytelling technologies. We are at the frontier, folk. Lines are blurring between novel, picture book, animation, graphic novel, game, musical instrument and short film.

It won’t be the death of books. It won’t be the end of reading or storytelling. Humans have an insatiable appetite for stories. It will mean more ways to get people interested in reading – kids in particular.

If you’re in any doubt, check out The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore – at the princely sum of $5.49 for iPad via iTunes. ‘Morris’ is an award-winning short film turned into an interactive picture book, most suitable for children 10 and up. It’s also a story about the power of books. And it’s a smash with everyone I’ve shown it to.

Here’s a screengrab from the story that, on the iPad, you can make flutter in the wind:

In a future post I’ll list other interactive iPad books and graphic novels I tested on a range of readers on a recent flight back from Darwin. I’d also be remiss not to mention that Five Parts Dead┬áis available for a variety of e-readers, including the iPad and Kindle.

4 thoughts on “The future of the book”

  1. Hi Tim.
    Check out the Peter Rabbit pop-up book for the iPad. Beautiful!
    I agree. Interactive/ wriggly/ fluttery editions of visual books are about to go OFF!
    Cheers

  2. Hazzah, brother,
    I hear you and I concur. There’s magic in them pixels and I, for one, would like to be part of that. The idea of ‘book’ is changing, ’tis all, we’ll always be hungry for story. As wordsmiths, we have to keep our ideas flexible and consider new forms of telling those yarns.
    Good luck!
    S

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