Chris Rechtsteiner

Books as apps deserve serious consideration

They may be more important than you think

While following FutureBook 12 recently (#fbook12) a topic came to mind that I feel needs to gain additional traction: Books as apps play an important role vs. existing ebook platforms.

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Are ebooks good enough already?

Could an entire industry be working to solve the wrong problem?

In reading Horace Dediu’s (@Asymco) piece on the possibility of the iPhone being good enough, an interesting question formed…

Is it possible that ebooks are already good enough?

Are we currently experiencing the best possible forms for the enjoyment of a written work?

It’s a viable question because, if you look closely at your reading habit and preferences, what would you really need or want to change that is materially different from what you’re capable of doing today?

As more technological innovation hits ebooks (and storytelling, sharing, news, etc.), more readers are complaining in unison not about the lack of robust multimedia or interactive elements but about the need for improved basics: cross-device portability, page formatting, font sizing & clarity, bookmarking, sharing, etc.

Improvements aren’t being sought in the quality / type of the content’s presentation. Improvements are being asked for relative to the consumption experience.

It’s possible we’re looking at the ideal form for an ebook and we’re taking it for granted.

What if the time spent and money invested in building “new” ways for stories to be presented was, instead, spent on / invested in helping storytellers gather information and formulate ideas to create more high-quality stories?

Could an entire industry be working to solve the wrong problem?

Thank you for the prompt, Mr. Dediu.

[Ed. note: You’ll also want to read Jenn Webb’s earlier interview with Horace Dediu here.]