Click page for more information

I came across a fascinating article on Tim O’Reilly’s blog by way of GalleyCat. It’s about a vision of book reading that would include hypertext. Special ink in the books would allow you to press on a word and be linked to additional information, sort of like reading something online.
I can’t help but think that this is just the another “flavor of the month” idea. What form of reading would this be useful for? Textbooks I imagine. I can’t see a novel including stuff like this for the simple reason that when I’m reading a novel I want to be immersed in the narrative, not hopping round looking for this bit and that bit. It would be a bit like a “choose your own adventure” book, which might be fine, if you’re twelve.
Non-fiction books might use such technology and succeed. An encyclopedia or dictionary, even an atlas or road-map. But part of me keeps going back to this fact: we have computers which already do this. Would you really shell out for a book which does this when you might have an easier time doing it online? And won’t the places where this would be used (students in a library or a roadmap in a car) already immersed in computers or computer-like technology which would make this irrelevant? Libraries have computers, cars have GPS.
I really don’t know. For more information click here, here, here, here or here.

One thought on “Click page for more information

  1. It does seem rather like a case of technology for technolgies sake. Ebooks that link to further information could be useful, but incorporating that sort of technology into paper books seems like a waste of time.

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