Is The eBook the End of Book Evolution?

I don’t think so.

This may stress a few of you out, but consider this list of upgrades from the eBook:

  • Interactive books.  You may have seen smaller versions of these on computers.  They are branching stories where you choose which way the character is to go.  These have also been done on paper, but of course, because of the amount of text needed to deal with all of the variations, the total experience has always been more of a short story despite the full length look and feel.  The computer versions were less obtrusive because you could not see the hidden text.  The new versions of these will feature a great deal more interaction than just saying, “go north”, or “go west”.  You can expect the characters in the story to ask you questions by name, and to consider your replies in free language.
  • Game books.  There is a movement underfoot to make work into games in some more modern industries.  True story.  As there is no reason some repetitive work could not be made into one or many games, look to books to go the same way.  Much like the Interactive book (above), the Game book will have full motion graphics, enhanced sounds, and will react to the reader directly, perhaps even by viewing the face of the reader and measuring their emotional state, and changing the story to fit the mood.
  • Full-immersion VR.  You can count on this coming your way.  In VR you won’t just read, you won’t just interact with a screen, but you will become a character in the story, where your every movement causes changes in the tale.  Your experience will be life-like, with realistic sounds, temperature control, scents, and even the feel of really walking, running, or fighting.

Yes, most of us will hold and cherish our paper books, but I am sure that there will come a time when our grandchildren will point at us and giggle when we get our Kindle or Nook out and strain our eyes to actually read a story.

What do you think the future of books holds?

Keep in mind that no matter how foreign, no matter how alien an idea may sound to you, your kids will eat it up.