More Can Be Less: A No Vote on Enhanced E-books

September 2010
by Curt Matthews

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More Can Be Less: A No Vote on Enhanced E-books

by Curt Matthews

My information technology–savvy sons, and the geek community in general, love to get a rise out of me by suggesting that a rectangle of text on a page or on an e-reader is a dead fish, just lying there, inert. Why not perk up that page by adding some color, some music, some video, some interactivity?

The younger generation, they say, expects a lot of vitality in the materials with which it will engage; but now, thank goodness, the iPad has arrived. Everything is going to change because this device does not suffer from any of the crippling limitations of the traditional book. A page can be made to sing and dance and thereby hope to capture the attention of young persons.

The iPad is a wonderful thing, and it will surely find many uses, some of them truly new and probably unthought-of as yet. But it is highly unlikely to change the deep nature of the book as we now know it.

Some years ago, when the information technologist Marshall McLuhan made himself famous by coming up with the phrase “The medium is the message,” the medium he was talking about was television (remember, this was quite a while ago). His main point, subtra…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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