The Future of Books

“… How, physically, will people read books in future? Will technology “unbind” books, as it has unbundled other media, such as music albums? Will reading habits change as a result? What happens when books are interlinked? And what is a book anyway?”

The Economist on the Future of Books

I like the comparison with music albums. I don’t think the way we know books fits to any screen. Books developed along with paper quality and printing technology. When moving text to a screen infrastructure will have to change, it already did with hypertext.

For example you can leave out something you would normally have to explain in a book or other closed (and sealed) text. On a screen you just make a link, embed other media and update it. Hypertext and hypernarrative structures are how you navigate through stories on a screen. You make your story guided by hyperlinks and applications like search engines.

Books are bound to paper.