Last summer I asked in SLJ, Do Books Still Matter? http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6430154.html
I said yes, especially if you look at how books can work with other newer forms of technology. Well we are seeing evidence of the world I envisioned all around us. Just this week Sue Macy announced a new nonfiction blog a group of writers are creating together: http://inkrethink.blogspot.com/. Last week, Kelly Czarnecki, who works for ImagineOn a collaborative venture between the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, NC., and Teaching Books, working with Teaching Books http://www.teachingbooks.net/ created a literary festival in Teen Second Life. Various authors, I was one, came as avatars and met the teenagers in the virtual room to chat. And Simon & Schuster has announced it is hosting a "blogfest" with over 100 authors who write for teenagers, http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6527154.html.
At a glance you can see that authors, librarians, publishers, are all finding ways to marry the blog, the virtual world, with the regular books we create. And if you add in radio things are going wild. Radio is hardly a new technology. I am pleased to see that archives of the old Loose Leaf Book Company shows are available on the net, http://www.booksense.com/llbc/archive/index.jsp. But, there is also a very new world of radio and YA. Since Novemeber I have been doing radio shows in conjunction with my book Race: A History Beyond Black and White. The radio hosts are eager to talk about a book that takes a subject seriously, but can also be used to speak with kids. In other words — our books, serious YA books, can now be fully integrated into the universe of radio, internet radio, podcasts.
This brief list of stuff going on does not even cover all of the ideas I’ve been hearing. And surely you have others to tell us about. But I think what we are seeing is what I predicted — an expanding world of information options can be married to books, it should not be seen as replacing books. What do you think?