Books In The Age Of The iPad – Good Riddance!

Mar 5th, 2010 | By | Category: Apple iPad

Book designer Craig Mod has published a very interesting article looking at books in the age of the iPad.

He argues that print is dying – and that it’s a good thing:

As the publishing industry wobbles and Kindle sales jump, book romanticists cry themselves to sleep. But really, what are we shedding tears over?

We’re losing the throwaway paperback.

The airport paperback.

The beachside paperback.

We’re losing the dredge of the publishing world: disposable books.

These are the first books to go. And I say it again, good riddance.

Mod goes on to look at the future of content, dividing it into:

  • Content without well-defined form – content that can be reflowed into any “container” without losing any meaning; and
  • Content with well-defined form – content that depends on its “container” for delivering meaning.

It’s not to hard to see that devices like the iPad will make more sense than books for content without well-defined form going forward – things like the latest Grisham novel.

The more interesting question, though, is what is the future for content with well-defined form? Devices like the iPad are going to change books, because they will be able to do so many things that books can’t do.

Mod suggests that we’ll have fewer books, but they will be better.

“The books we make will always remind people that the printed book can be a sculpture for thoughts and ideas.”

What do you think the iPad will do to the world of publishing? Are you ready to say “good riddance” to disposable books?

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