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on Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at 7:20 pm and is filed under books, technology and tagged with books, technology, TypeTribe.
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I believe in the near future people will get used to reading books electronically, on some modified version of the Kindle. I still prefer the look, smell, and feel of a bound book. However, I’ve read several manuscripts electronically, and still found myself very involved in the stories. I haven’t been able to afford a Kindle yet, but I’m eager to buy one. It will be great to instantly download any book I want the moment I want it, and to be able to carry multiple books around in one small electronic device. I believe the generation that’s growing up with laptops, texting, and social networking will find it easy to adjust to reading words in electronic print versus words printed on paper.
Beyond that, when I want a more involving sensory experience, I watch movies. 3-D movies are already heading toward an experience that surrounds the senses, and that may yet evolve into something holographic or virtual. However, I’m not sure books need to dive too far into that realm. I believe part of the fun of reading is using our own imagination to fill in those blanks.
However, I do enjoy it when authors use the book format itself to involve the reader: such as “Griffin & Sabine,” in which each chapter takes the form of a personal letter the reader pulls out of an envelope, or one book I heard about, in which a chapter about an attacking shark had words arranged on each successive page so that it looked like the shape of a shark swimming closer and closer.
Whatever happens to books, film, TV, newspapers and the Internet, although it is distressing that these changes sometimes push people out of work, I believe “stories” will survive. Whatever form it takes, I’ll always be interested in a well-told story: fact or fiction, news or entertainment, intellectually stimulating or escapist. Stories give us a shared cultural experience, introduce us to a world outside our experience, and reveal the world within ourselves.
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