Tag Archives: e-Books

Science Fiction Today – Books

BBooks are still such an important part of not only how we get information, but how we get to experience all the various stories that people have to tell. At the same time the way that we read books has changed. The invention of the printing press made such a significant impact on just having access to reading and now we have the ability for anyone to have books.

This has made almost a different issue of the number of books that can be housed in one location. Libraries create a place to be able to borrow books instead of owning, but there is something about owning books that is really nice. Now we have all sorts of e-readers and tablets that can hold hundreds of books at one time and even add the ability to have interactive elements. This is already a huge step forward in how books are created and how we read. The question is how much further can and will this progress go?

No More Books

Now one option that is sometimes seen in science fiction is that there are no more books or at least books have become a rare commodity that only the rich have access to. Some of the problem with the physical books is that the use of paper does use a resource – and if we do not need to use paper to make and read books, then isn’t that better?

One option that you see is that the world begins to exist on a virtual plane. It is no longer about the physical presence, but plugging in and transporting yourself to a digital existence and that is where the books live. The other option is that somehow you can just upload the story into your mind and just know it, like in The Matrix. These all make the physical book an unnecessary luxury.

Digital Books

Now obviously we already have digital books, but that does not mean that this type of books will not have its own advancements. The option here is that maybe instead of a physical device that we carry, we have something under the skin or bracelets that allow us to act like we are holding a book even when we are not. There is no longer a physical screen, but some sort of a projection of a screen that we can see in some way, with Minority Report or Iron Man type interactive displays. Then add on the ability to search, scan, index, and be able to follow events between the various books and we can have a brand new experience for how to read a book.

The big thing is that the likely direction is that the number of physical books that exists in this world is going to be reduced – and more and more of the books will exist in a digital world.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!

Where Do You Most Often Get Books?

Something David and I have just been thinking about as we have to make space for a new addition has been what books to keep and what to get rid of. We still at times buy physical books, but more often we will do e-books because there is only so much space. I have to say another thing we have been trying to be good about doing is using our Library more because there are a lot of books that you can get, even if it is not all of them. There are some books that I like to own, but you can end up putting a lot of money into books and I already have a backlog that I have not read yet. So how do you like to get new books to read?

What in the World Happened to Indexes?

I’ve been saying for a while now that I need to write this post, and so the time is now. Because we’ve hit yet another example. Because one by one, the Indexes are going away.

Where are the Indexes going?

400 page strategy guide. Want to guess whether it has an Index?

400 page strategy guide. Want to guess whether it has an Index?

By which I mean, the Index section of books. What I’ve been running into has been with gaming materials. So, disappearing from the end of board game rules. Disappearing from the end of strategy guides. When you’re going to take the time to produce a large, written document like this, for people to turn to as a reference, you need an Index! You’re competing with the Internet, and if you make your products hard to use, you will lose people. And they will turn to free alternatives online.

So I’ve seen a few examples, so let me talk you through them, and why it annoys me so!

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