The New York Times magazine today has several articles about computers, games, and learning. This one is especially interesting to me because it relates directly to what I wrote about yesterday — etext versus books:
the article quotes “Evan Schnittman, a managing director at Bloomsbury Publishing,” who “breaks down reading into three kinds: extractive reading (say, looking up words in the dictionary), immersive reading (sinking into “Moby-Dick”) and pedagogic reading (studying a physics curriculum).” Schnittman believes that you can have immersive reading on an ereader — that is precisely what — so far — does not seem possible to me. I realized as I read this piece that the ereader really give you epages, not ebooks — that is the false adverstising. Because the immersion in a book is not simply in the text on a give page, it — as we say — “diving into” a book or “settling down” with a book.
But I am not writing this just to complain — I think the possibilities of text plus multimedia in an ipad environment are vast. Just scrolling through images on my ipad makes me hunger to use its capacities. So far, and for me, the ereader is a bust — it gives epages poorly; but the potentials for new forms of mixed media are limitless.