Thinking about books and there often predicted demise and spawned off comment from a recent post 'The death of the book,' I did a quick search for 'future of the book' type sites. I found The Institute for the Future of the Book, and an article The Battle to Define the Future of the Book in the Digital World, by Clifford Lynch. Both look pertinent and I have to dig into these resources.
But before I do, (and I'm sure it's discussed there) what are specs for the NeoBook.
Consider what books are now and what to keep:
- no-power (but light?)
- Table of contents
- The flip-to-a-page action, e.g. you know what you're looking for and it's near the middle of the book….
- Bookmarks, dog ears
Consider what books don't have now, but could
- Full text search
- Hyperlinks to full text of information sources.
- Infinitely expandable margins
Say you're working on a report. You'd like to have all your reference texts open and available in a large pile surrounding you. Hmm, but say you have all your books on one handheld device. So maybe poly-book functionality. Switching between books easily on your device. But screen real estate would be at a premium. I keep thinking 'virtual reality.'
What trouble Fermat would have saved the world if his margins were infinitely expandable (I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermat’s_last_theorem).
This feels like a job for wiki. Why not:
Entry filed under: NeoBook.