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From National Public Radio by Linton Weeks:

The premise of Lane Smith’s new work for children, It’s a Book, is simple: Books are under siege.

On the first page a donkey asks a monkey, “What do you have there?” The monkey replies: “It’s a book.”

“How do you scroll down?” the donkey asks. “Do you blog with it?”

Then he asks: “Where’s your mouse? … Can you make characters fight? … Can it text? … Tweet? … Wi-Fi? … Can it do this? TOOT!”
Illustrator Lane Smith’s new work, It’s a Book

The title says it all.

No, the monkey repeatedly replies. “It’s a book.”

Smith’s book, in stores this month, may be an example of a dying breed. A book, published — and meant to be read — on paper.

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Dan Visel, a founder of the appropriately named Institute for the Future of the Book, points out that, first of all, a “book” can mean many things: A cookbook, a comic book, a history book and an electronic book are all animals of different stripes.

“It would be a mistake to think that these various forms have a single, unified future,” Visel says. “Rather, I think it’s more appropriate to say that there are futures of the book.” He sees some books, such as romances and thrillers, migrating easily to an electronic form.

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There are problems, he adds. “There are severe limitations with current implementations of electronic books.” Any content that is not strictly formatted — such as poetry or illustrated books — poses problems. “There’s not an easy or cost-effective way for publishers to make complex electronic books.” And there are piracy concerns as more books zoom around the Internet.

Savvy publishers, he says, “should be establishing themselves as brands or curators.” And they “could be in the business of providing community to the readers: allowing readers to have conversations with authors or like-minded readers.”

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Source: NPR

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