There’s a wealth of good articles trying to predict the future of reading. We’ll focus on Kevin Kelly’s latest post on publishing – What Books Will Become – which tries to take the logical steps beyond the Kindle and social reading revolutions to imagine where the “book” is going (social reading here enveloping social highlighting, bookmarking, commenting, additions/corrections). His usual grandiloquence eventually gets the best of him, but it’s a good mind-teaser. In fact, we link to his “Screen Publishing” blog and to the “original post” that began his search to understand e-publishing. We also link to “trusty Kevin Kelly reverberator” Seth Godin and his take on the specific “what books will become” post, and also to his publishing venture The Domino Project (which is a very interesting experiment in publishing by itself, and it’s far from digital-only, by the way). Finally, we also highlight other related posts.
As a teaser, here’s a story that seems small but strikes deep (Publishers Weekly): Kindle owners in the US are now enabled to borrow e-books from some 11,000 public libraries over there. The stats of e-book borrowing are staggering, growing insanely and worth the read.
So much material, so little time. We wish we could bundle all this in a PDF and print it – OK, maybe that’s passé, so we’d read the PDF in an iPad.
Meanwhile, Europe is apparently playing catch-up in e-books, according to the NYT. Interesting to try to draw conclusions about Brazil.
Kevin Kelly’s 2008 post “The Fate of The Book” predicted much of the debate. Very interesting and full of links to other interesting people, although to read it all you’d need a constant flow of Brazilian-style holidays such as the one starting tomorrow (it’s a double-holiday joining with a weekend starting tomorrow – more accurately tonight).
He also wrote a piece for the Smithsonian Magazine’s 40th Anniversary issue. The issue (Aug. 2010) had 40 pieces with views of the future, and to check out the other 39 texts click here. Some seem interesting.
Mr. Kelly spoke at the 2011 TOC (Tools of Change) Conference, which he thinks is a great place to discuss the future of the ebook. Here’s the 26-minute talk:
Finally, this post has KK staring at a real library and having “second thoughts”.