Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pop-Up E-Books?

Today I did a show-aloud during library time, letting kids see Matthew Reinhart's Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy. Suffice to say that they liked it, even the ones who didn't care much about the ice planet of Hoth or which droid was R2D2 or not.

And then, as my mind is prone to do, I was thinking about convergence - in this case, how pop-ups and ebooks are going to mix. As it stands now, even with what I know of the iPad, the idea of buying this book in an electronic version is a non-starter.

Still, as 3-D technology advances, I wonder. Will computer algorithms based on folding be able to create even more dazzling books? Imagine being able to open a new "page" frame by frame so you could see the intricate folding that enables opening and closing of the book. Imagine not being constrained by the dimensions of your book? And imagine that no matter how many times you opened the book, you couldn't damage it so that it didn't fold smoothly?

Would it be the same experience as the awe we get from holding a great pop-up book and realizing that someone actually was able to do the work that enables the treat we're holding? Probably not. But could it be a wonderful, immersive experience that could lead to great storytelling potential? Yes, I can see that.

And you?


Barney Saltzberg Author, Illustrator, Songwriter said...

You have touched on what both excites and scares the heck out of anyone affiliated with books regardless of whether they are pop-up or flat!

Yes, the possibilities are endless. (Don't get me started on missing the 'feel' of books... Digital books are happening whether we like it or not. I'm sure someone will develop a digital tactile feel of a 'real' book complete with a digital 'smell' of real paper and glue....)

So yes, there will be lots of fun bells and whistles, blurring the line between books and entertaining games.... I suppose if it still can have a parent and child interacting as well as reading it's a good thing. If a book has to stand up and grow and grow like a beanstalk and sing in order to entice a reader, then it's a great thing. As a creator of books, the trick is, will they still pay us to create them?

Greg Pincus said...

I hear you, Barney. I think there's never been a better time to be a storyteller. I suspect there's never been a better time to make money as one. But I think it's not clear exactly how that's going to look going forward. But I agree - digital is here to stay, and we all better be dealing with it.

vmware capacity said...

This is great. I am a fan of ebooks. Rather than having a tangible book..