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Old 03-04-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
anurag
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Books in the Age of the iPad

http://craigmod.com/journal/ipad_and_books/

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...
From 2003-2009 I spent six years trying to make beautiful printed books. Six years. Focused on printed books. In the 00s.

And I loved it. I loved the process. The finality of the end product. I loved the sexy-as-hell tactility of those little ink and paper bricks. But I can tell you this: the excitement I feel about the iPad as a content creator, designer and publisher — and the potential it brings — must be acknowledged. Acknowledged bluntly and with perspective.

With the iPad we finally have a platform for consuming rich-content in digital form. What does that mean? To understand just why the iPad is so exciting we need to think about how we got here.

I want to look at where printed books stand in respect to digital publishing, why we historically haven't read long-form text on screens and how the iPad is wedging itself in the middle of everything. In doing so I think we can find the line in the sand to define when content should be printed or digitized.

This is a conversation for books-makers, web-heads, content-creators, authors and designers. For people who love beautifully made things. And for the storytellers who are willing to take risks and want to consider the most appropriate shape and media for their yarns.
...
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:46 PM   #2
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On come on!

Just put the F***ing words in a text/RTF/HTML file and I'll take care of the formatting requirements myself.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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On come on!

Just put the F***ing words in a text/RTF/HTML file and I'll take care of the formatting requirements myself.
lol!

But seriously... Steve Jobs has a love for many things, technology, usability, aesthetics on devices. But his chief love and something he got into at an early age was typography. I kid you not, he is actually a typography geek. At college he used to sneak into Typography classes and learn about fonts. Everything he does at Apple he checks the typography, readability, layout. This makes me think that many of the interesting layout options in the article may make it into the iPad.

My only concern is, if Jobs tries to extend epub so it has additional layout features, how will it interfere with using the files on other platforms.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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On come on!

Just put the F***ing words in a text/RTF/HTML file and I'll take care of the formatting requirements myself.
Except that's what we pretty much have to do anyway.

As far as the article...yeah I'm all excited too about the possibilities, but I'd be happy if we could get to the stage where plain ol' vanilla digital books suck less. Use that as a sort of springboard for the more dynamic stuff, you know?
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:36 PM   #5
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I don't want to every format stuff myself. But I'm also not picky for formatting with novels. Text is text. I don't lose my shit over a ragged right edge, lack of hyphenation, use of a certain font etc. like many do. For text, I don't care much about typopgraphy and formatting.

It's more of an issue for the scholarly work I read as that's full of tables, figures etc. that have to be displayed as intended--but those I'll stick with paper books and printouts until there's a reader/tablet with a screen big enough to display them identical to their paper counterparts.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:49 PM   #6
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this is what penquin thinks a book will be like on the iPad

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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this is what penquin thinks a book will be like on the iPad
I sure hope not... That's way too busy, the point of those simple books is to get kids to learn to read, not distract the hell out of them with tractors.

Not to mention the most enjoyable part of a coloring book is coloring outside the lines with a crappy crayon

It's no fun if you tap and it instantly fills...
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
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The iPad is intriguing at first sight, but when you really start to learn about its capabilities, you start to wonder why you didn't buy a netbook instead, lol. If it could throw in the ability to multitask I'd be a lot happier with its potential.

I'm not sure something like that is ideal as an eBook reader anyway, as battery life also has to be considered, as well as the fact that the iPad is a little heftier than I'd like when trying to relax with a story.

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Not to mention the most enjoyable part of a coloring book is coloring outside the lines with a crappy crayon
Hah, so true. What good is a colouring book if you can't add a moustache to everything in the book?
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:35 PM   #9
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The iPad is intriguing at first sight, but when you really start to learn about its capabilities, you start to wonder why you didn't buy a netbook instead, lol.
Well I want a tablet to use mainly as a PDF reading and markup tool. The ipad doen't fit the bill for me as any stylus options will be 3rd party and I want at least a letter sized screen.

But I do want a tablet and not a netbook or laptop. I already have a laptop ,and it sucks to read on as the form factor isn't good for reading. A tablet has the form factor for reading, note taking etc., so I'll buy one as soon as there's one that fits my very specific needs.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fugazied View Post
lol!

But seriously... Steve Jobs has a love for many things, technology, usability, aesthetics on devices. But his chief love and something he got into at an early age was typography. I kid you not, he is actually a typography geek.
I probably still have a copy some where of this program, published by an obscure company who went on to do other things:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typestry
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:06 PM   #11
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Well I want a tablet to use mainly as a PDF reading and markup tool. The ipad doen't fit the bill for me as any stylus options will be 3rd party and I want at least a letter sized screen.

But I do want a tablet and not a netbook or laptop. I already have a laptop ,and it sucks to read on as the form factor isn't good for reading. A tablet has the form factor for reading, note taking etc., so I'll buy one as soon as there's one that fits my very specific needs.
Yeah, I hadn't included tablets in my thinking, but I think that only supports the fact that the iPad isn't really for anyone. It tries to be too many things, and ends up being restricted in too many ways. It can't be a netbook (mainly due to lack of multitasking and poor specs at a high price) it can't be an eReader (battery life, size), it doesn't make a good tablet (for reasons you've stated, and perhaps the multitasking issue again)... it's just plain better to buy whatever device is specific to your needs.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:10 PM   #12
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It's not that bad. They got the form factor, battery life and price right. And I like having all the features.

Give it at least an 8.5 x 11 inch screen and built in stylus support for taking notes and marking up documents and I'd buy one day one.

I'm not that interested in something that I can only use to read and mark up documents--I'd much prefer something like the iPad that does all the multimedia stuff but has the larger screen and mark up abilities built in.

I get tired of having a bunch of gadgets only good for one task that I end up not using all that often. So I'm really interested in a tablet that I can use for my work reading and document mark up, magazine and newspaper reading, maybe some novel reading etc. But also do internet, e-mail, PDA for my contacts and calendar, play some games, watch some videos, listen to music while doing the reading/markup work etc.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:17 PM   #13
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The iPad is intriguing at first sight, but when you really start to learn about its capabilities, you start to wonder why you didn't buy a netbook instead, lol. If it could throw in the ability to multitask I'd be a lot happier with its potential.
I've used netbooks and really dislike the entire form factor. The screen is tiny and the keyboard is tiny and they don't really do anything well especially as an ereader.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:20 PM   #14
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I've used netbooks and really dislike the entire form factor. The screen is tiny and the keyboard is tiny and they don't really do anything well especially as an ereader.
Yep, I hate them. My 15" laptop is easy enough to take around--and I don't take it out of the house that much anyway.

Netbooks are just too small, and they're very underpowered. A lot of my casual laptop use is streaming HD video, something every netbook I've used chokes on--most can't even handle standard def video.

I can see the appeal for people who are constantly going to the coffee shop to relax and surf the net etc. But even that I'd rather do on something like an iPad. To each their own of course.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:22 PM   #15
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While the article acts like the iPad is the first digital platform to exist (rofl), it does make some very good points about designing digital books. I hope we will see more publishers embracing the potential of digital content.
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