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Old 03-30-2011, 09:24 AM   #1
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Talking about books, inside of books

This is about one of those "enhanced ebooks", more like a multimedia thingy,

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat...r-ebook_b26609

But I like the idea of discussing a book from within the book. This could be very useful in academia I think, where an instructor could assign a few pages and then ask the class to write a few thoughts and then everyone's thoughts would simply appear alongside the text, it will definitely change the reading experience. The next step would be to actually alter the text in realtime I guess.

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Old 03-30-2011, 10:24 AM   #2
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Couldn't disagree more... sounds absolutely dreadful... if I want to discuss a book, read others comments (Twitter) and be in a book club then I'll go and do those things but I don't, I just want to read a book so definitely one to avoid... good luck to those who can't live without telling everyone else how they live and read and sleep and... but some of us can actually have a life without having to get it validated by other people...
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
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I can see where for a classroom text, it might invite some extra class participation. Although I do hate to be constantly expected to put down what I think about what I'm reading until I'm done reading it. I want to experience first, then figure out what I think about it. On on a whole it'd be something I would avoid.

But I read fiction, and find that any type of distraction takes away from the story, not adds to it. And I don't tend to make notes when I read. I didn't even write in my own college text books, but just inserted bookmarks and took notes on a separate piece of paper if I needed to.

So it's not what I'd want to get into in the first place for pleasure reading. And only if the teacher required it in a class.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:52 AM   #4
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I'm mostly wondering about schools within a book, where the teacher can be accessed via video through a link in the book and discussions can be facilitated between groups through a discussion protocol within the book. Basically the class would be the book, I suppose that has pros and cons, like most things do.

I also think that inline comments in ebooks can be expanded to quite a bit more than say, a twitter feed listing that may or may not be relevant to the paragraph you are reading.

For instance, you come across a tough paragraph and ask the book for a better explanation, the book would know who has read that particular paragraph and then would start searching through that list of people for those who have made the most notes in that book, or highlighted the most passages. The book would then send the paragraph to a few people who it thinks might be able to help the troubled reader with understanding. Fees could be charged for this but they wouldn't be necessary I imagine.

That's part of what I would like the future of the book to read like, I think something like that cold be incorporated into the epub specification for our future ereaders, although it would probably require some software, maybe inside epub package?
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:50 AM   #5
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I can see where this could be beneficial inside an academic environment. Reminds me a bit of my own college days where I would occasionally benefit from the comments left by previous owners when I bought used course textbooks.

Updated tech, naturally.

For pleasure reading, no thanks. As elcreative mentions, this should be something one actively chooses to participate in, not have stuff thrown at your personal ereading experience. I consider this intrusive.

Like most things in our modern tech age, stuff like this should be OPTIONAL, with the ability to use it or not. Then I would likely more readily embrace this kind of concept.

I paid for the ebook.
I paid for my computer.
I paid for my car.
etc, etc, etc...

Don't tread on me...
...unless I say it's OK...

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Old 06-08-2011, 04:57 AM   #6
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My favorite enhanced books are video books
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
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What I would like is the book to become the academic environment. I suppose that's a bit far off though, I mean how long have we been reading about the virtual classroom,

But as an example, let's imagine the future of the cookbook. There are countless cooking ebooks available, most of them poorly formatted databases of recipes currently available on the web. There are also a few well designed recipe database ebooks available.

But I am not sure if there is an ebook that let's you contact others who have made the recipe you are thinking about cooking and asking them via video chat what they thought of the recipe. A twitter style feed for each recipe could take the place of video chat of course and would be easier to implement. But still, that is just taking a website and packaging it into an epub, but epubs are just webpages after all, rendered in an interesting way.

For those with buckets of money I suppose you could order a half hour of a professional chefs time through the ebook. You could prop your ereader/tablet on the counter and then have the chef yell at you while you mangle their recipe.

A community written cooking ebook would be nice too, where a recipe in the book is able to be altered through some user voting mechanism.

What would you like from your cooking ebooks?
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elcreative View Post
but some of us can actually have a life without having to get it validated by other people...
But... But... But... If I don't have others' approval, how will I know that I'm doing it right?
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:10 PM   #9
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I like the idea. I am not a college type person but like to study various fields of interest. Right now I am reading the book 'The Evolution of Sedimentary Rock" and every once in a while come across a statement I'm not sure I understand. Right now that means going to the library or on line and plowing through tons of information to clarify my understanding. If I had an interactive book I could just send out a shout for help. Also, there are those that are snowbound in places such as Oymyakon or living in, say Kishmanja Pakistan or Nickelsville Va. with the nearest town of any size a good 100 kilometers away. For people in such situations a book that interacts with others would be invaluable.

As far as book of the month clubs and such like think of the bedridden, the elderly without transportation, or people at remote radar sites again, for these situations interactive books would be without equal.
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:34 PM   #10
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What Gigglegram is asking for is A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer....
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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It sounds like it might be good within the context of the classroom but other than that probably not so much. And even in the classroom there would need to be guidelines I think. Freedom isn't the right to agree but to disagree about things. While a certain amount of agreement on a topic is needed so that everyone is on the same page about important things (basic knowledge of the world etc.) there still needs to be self-expression lest free thought be somehow stifled in the process.
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:55 PM   #12
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Basically, along with the table of contents, there would be a list of helpers who could be contacted for help with what you are reading(updated to show those who are currently online), click a button on the device, access a protocol in the epub, connect to another.

Roundtable discussions could be facilitated through an epub protocol as well, click a button, get placed in the video stream queue, then stream yourself to the discussion group, through the book. I'm not sure how this would stifle self-expression??

Is this something we want our ebooks to be able to do?
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Basically, along with the table of contents, there would be a list of helpers who could be contacted for help with what you are reading(updated to show those who are currently online), click a button on the device, access a protocol in the epub, connect to another.

Roundtable discussions could be facilitated through an epub protocol as well, click a button, get placed in the video stream queue, then stream yourself to the discussion group, through the book. I'm not sure how this would stifle self-expression??

Is this something we want our ebooks to be able to do?
I mean that it could become standard to follow the view of the majority rather than think for oneself about what a book means. In a sense it could become dogma so that to challenge the dominant view is to be radical or something. Sort of a 1984 situation where everyone would know who has what view of what concept or book etc. Not to say it would happen but (IMO) it could easily become that way if books were connected up like that. The famous slippery slope doesn't look slippery at first after all. It's just a little thing that leads to another and then another.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:42 PM   #14
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Enhanced books are called computer games. They used to be called movies, but that is now too old school, static and non-interactive.

These "enhanced books" as marketed by Apple iBook and other ventures is a travesty.
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:29 PM   #15
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I mean that it could become standard to follow the view of the majority rather than think for oneself about what a book means.
What is a book? I suppose we do need to answer that question before we answer any questions concerning what is inside of a book.

But you are saying that there is no book? That everyone could have their own definition for a book?

I would say that a book is a connection between minds, but the book has in the past been a low bandwidth means of communication, to use a techy term.

Here is another question, do you think these sorts of things should be coded into the epub protocol? to be reader agnostic, or do you think these sorts of things should be left up to Apple and Amazon? Creating a walled garden of interactive ebook readers so to speak?
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