enhanced e-books? what’s to enhance?


hello, dear readers,

i really thought i wasn’t going to have anything else to blog about. i was actually almost, dare i say it, bored, with the topic of e-readers and iPads and iPods and smartphones. they were all basically doing the same thing – bringing electronic versions of books to a screen near you (very near you, as in your pocket or purse).

but today, eureka!! something i have been reading about and ignoring because, frankly, i didn’t think it would ever take off. what is this new “new” thing i’m talking about? okay, you better sit down…ENHANCED e-books.

now when you think of enhanced, no, nevermind, i don’t want to know what you think when you think of enhanced. unless you’re thinking e-books.

ron charles’ did a witty segment on enhanced e-books on his thvbr on the washington post’s website (thanx to the blog entymology of a bookworm).

then there’s the vook. it’s a video. it’s a book. it’s a vook (clever, i know). there are almost over 180 vooks in the iTunes store. most are non-fiction/instructional type products.

since i’m more of a recreational fiction reader, i put the concept to the side. but then today comes word of an e-book that will allow you to ‘tweet’ real time. you know, use your twitter account while you’re reading. the book is titled, “here on earth: a natural history of the planet,” by tim flannery. on amazon, the hardcover book is $16.25, the kindle edition is $9.99. but wait, there’s more…

the media bistro blog galley cat published an entry entitled, “how to use twitter hashtags inside your ebook.” this article mentions that the enhanced ebook edition of “here on earth” goes on sale today in the iTunes store, priced at $11.99.

according to galleycat, this enhanced edition “allows readers to take notes, copy text, and join Twitter conversations without ever leaving the digital text.”

WOW! isn’t this what we’ve been waiting for? or is it?

my first thought was . . . can’t the publisher leave me alone, i already bought the goshdarned book. but then i thought about something really cool…book groups!! from your local neighborhood book groups to international book groups (even the international space station could take part), lots of groups could take part in an ongoing, dynamic, real-time conversation about . . . a book! doesn’t that sound exciting?

i’m not sure… but i think it does.

my second thought, which has come a day later is . . . ta-daaaah…textbooks! or class materials. classrooms could be totally interactive 24/7. if that’s what you want. professors could hilite passages and request comment. a whole new immersive technology that gets participation . . . LIVE! no going back and trying to remember what you thought at the moment you read that passage. how many times have i thought to myself . . . what did i think about chapter 2 now that i’m on chapter 27? okay, but i still think this has actual real-world application that might actually be useful.

happy reading . . . and tweeting . . . no matter the format!

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