the future of reading

Much debate over on Richard Charkin’s blog this week about Andrew Marr’s piece in Friday’s Guardian entitled Curling up with a good ebook. Do join the discussion if you wish.
Even Andrew Marr, an admitted book-as-object fetishist who describes his enthusiasm as ‘just this side of pervy’, was convinced by e-readers. I’m afraid I’m not – yet. What’s out there at the moment just doesn’t do it for me. I can’t really see the point of an expensive gadget that you can only read books on – and then only in text. Where are the pictures, audio, video, interactivity? Well, OK, some pictures are possible. But it’s still like the early days of the Internet. Surely we all expect a lot more from our content these days.
Here’s a video review of the piece of kit Andrew was road-testing, the iRex ILiad E-Reader – you be the judge…


What I’m waiting for is the Minority Report moment – that stylish digital paper-and-ink format with wireless-subscribed ever-changing content. You know the one – 1:11 into this video trailer.

Unlike the ‘precogs’ in the movie, I don’t claim to be able to see the future. But I really don’t think it’s the current e-readers on the market.

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Jon Reed

Jon Reed is a content writer, author, screenwriter, lecturer, blogger - and the founder of Publishing Talk. He was previously a publisher for 10 years. Publishing Talk aims to help new and emerging authors write, publish and sell books. Advice is available via the blog and our masterclasses and membership programme. More...