The Rich World of E-books to Become Even Richer

I’ve been an advocate of online e-books for a decade or more, and have continually, class after class, tried to indoctrinate my students of the great benefits. Being a higher ed IT teacher my favourite sites have been and still are Books24x7 and Safari Books Online. Over the years I have blogged about this and my latest effort looked at some simple numbers from an examination question.

Provided you have an Internet connection the main benefits are obvious:

  1. access to thousands of books
  2. powerful search brings just-in-time reading and reference
  3. copy-and-paste of text for quotations, and code and data for programming and web site development
  4. reader-generated marginalia for study and research

These are very significant benefits but after listening to the IT Conversations Technometria podcast of an interview with Mitch Ratcliffe a much richer world of e-books was opened up. E-books are high in my own consciousness because of my recent Kindle purchase but of course are further in the public spotlight with the iPad announcement and the iBooks Store. As well as being readable online e-books are now literally on devices in our hands.

Mitch Ratcliffe produces the highly informative Booksahead blog where he covers in depth all aspects of the world of e-books including publishing models, formats, reading devices, social reading and curation. During his podcast interview he alerted us to ideas for current and future e-books that I found fascinating such as:

  • While reading generate social media items (tweets, posts, and so on) with the exact book context attached
  • See marginalia created by other readers
  • Permanently link to individual words and phrases in any book
  • Go to the most-read passages in the book
  • Look back to when your grandfather first read a book
  • Infinite editions of a book always available on new devices and formats into the future
  • Interact with author as book is in the process of creation

This podcast for me was one of those eye-opener moments and I can’t wait for this richer world of e-books to appear as soon as possible.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

One Response to The Rich World of E-books to Become Even Richer

  1. Thanks for your pointer and kind assessment of my work. I’ll keep an eye on your feed, as well.

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