Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alice in chains?

My mate Deb's partner, Mike, is determined to introduce me to the joys of reading on the iphone and ipad. He sent me this link to Alice in Wonderland which is gob-smacking, I can't deny, but it is also deeply baffling.  Where does my mind go when I 'read' this way? Alice is given new and unexpected life in Tim Burton's latest cinema outing (loved it), but why do I want visual brilliance like that when I curl up to read, Mike?

For reading to me is about curling in on myself. It's about putting aside my increasingly cluttered, noisy, bright, highly visual, digital world and allowing my own interior 'brilliance' to kick in. The ipad thing is a bit like sitting in a well-lit room watching a cooking show on TV (a fab one with one of those talky American hosts and loads of cilantro) vs. opening a fridge. Okay, a large well-stocked fridge with an ice-maker and double doors and a very bright little light.

Forget it. The metaphor isn't working.. and it doesn't link particularly well to the title of the post. You see, I'm all in a tither. Then I think that, perhaps, I've misunderstood - that what I've shown you here is not a new form of book, but like the 'extras' you get on a DVD. Either way - thanks, Mike, for sending me the link. It's given me a lot to think about.


Penelope said...

Hellsbells, that was Alice in a tither. I'm scanning the horizon for the perfect girl-friendly reading device, tactile cover, perhaps faux suede, bendy, notebook-sized, a whole library slipped into a handbag. Am counting on it, more or less, as I start to set up Skybooks. Good writers squeezed out of the dwindling hardback market have to have somewhere to go. Meanwhile I read books.

MikePearsonNZ said...

You've touched on a debate that is just emerging about this new type of device - what is the nature of a book and how you experience it?

This debate has started in the US, if you google: iPad reading books experience.

Some people are worried that for casual readers, it will kill the experience of reading for pleasure.

For the book publishing industry, it means a shakeup in the printing/distribution/sales channel, just like has happened with the iPod.

Will NZers continue to pay the cost of shipping the phsyical object to NZ, to get the experience, if that is 3x, 4x the cost of the digital object?

Perhaps there is an opportunity for Print On Demand,, but I have not seen anyone in NZ offer such a service.