The Future of Books

I was so excited while researching on the future of books for our presentation. Personally, I love reading. All kinds of novels, a book lover. As much as I love the physical feel & smell of books, we can’t deny that books are digitising, with e-books on the rise. Change is inevitable with technology advancement.

Google’s goal to digitise world’s books in 10 years’ time; Amazon Kindle Lending Library (where people can “borrow” books online to read on their e-books); The closure of Borders & other bookstores out there; Improvements & affordable prices of e-books; What will be the future of books?

Books will be interactive in so many ways.

Introducing Booktrack:

Booktrack combines music & literature, providing the greatest reading experience. Usually when we read, we will naturally add in our own accompaniment, with headphones in, books open, providing soundtracks to literature. We tend to select our own music reading pairings, choosing songs that emotionally correspond to words on the page. Thus comes this idea for a more cinematic type of experience for reading. (There’s even a Booktrack app!)

I love Booknotes! Authors presenting playlist for their books – from imaginary soundtracks, music for book characters, music they listen to when they’re writing the book to totally wild tangents. This provides specific song recommendations for book readers especially for readers like me who must pair a song to a book. You can even Spotify the playlist you want too!

“What plays on inside a reader’s head might be the ultimate value of reading. In silence, the mind can parse through a phrase without distraction, and attention can be paid to meaning more than pace. Then again, a soundtrack that performs the words on the page might shut out the incessant whirring of the world to provide, for those who want it, a way of plugging yourself into a book.” It really depends on the individual how a book is read.

Digital technology also allows storytelling to go innovative – becoming more tailored, evolving & engaging. We Tell Stories is an alternate reality game launched in March 2008 by Six to Start together with Penguin publishers. Six authors contribute stories to project, one each week, displayed on the site using interactive internet media. (The site received nearly 50, 000 unique visitors in its first week!) Storytelling can now be so creative & engaging – using GPS, follow the character’s blog/twitter & even interact with them, watch a story develop in real-time, determine the story plot, making decisions for characters after analysing different possible perspectives – it is just ‘wow’.

For the future to come, we have Nelson, Coupland & Alice. No, they are not characters from a storybook but three new concepts for digital reading.

Nelson

  • helps contextualize a given book
  • grants sidebar access to online commentary, statistics about cultural impact
  • links that fact-check the book’s data

Coupland

  • designed for professionals
  • allows co-workers to suggest and share relevant books; start book clubs and conversations; create a company library.

Alice

  • enables interacting with novels
  • turning the act of reading into a game-like experience
  • discovering plot elements, addressing characters
  • the story is ultimately modified by the reader’s contribution

Something I found heartwarming: Worldreader

Worldreader’s mission is to make digital books available to all in the developing world, enabling millions of people to improve their lives; to put a library of books into the hands of children and families in the developing world with e-reader. Worldreader’s pilot schools encourage students take e-readers home, so entire communities can benefit. Preliminary results are positive: students now spend up to 50% more of their time reading. With e-readers, students have the power to choose the books they want to read, allowing them to dream and become whatever they want to be.

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