Happily, the figure holds the replica of a print book in its hands


It’s important to nurture and endure reading habit.THE ASIAN AGE.These apps can be downloaded on the mobile phone

Happily, the figure holds the replica of a print book in its hands. Hill passed away a few years ago but the foundation he had set up continues with the work he had pioneered and promises to deliver soon. Yet when I asked them about alternate reading experiences apart from a print book, few responses were forthcoming.Professionals who do not need the whole book have the facility of downloading specific chapters for a fee and paying for them.It’s important to nurture and endure reading habit.THE ASIAN AGE.These apps can be downloaded on the mobile phone. Bezoswith improved download and storage capacity for hundreds of books turned reading on its head and put paid to the adage that you could not carry a computer but only a book to the beach for reading. Would the reading experience ever be the same again? This was the benchmark Kindle, all other versions including the Paper-White Kindle have been more improved versions with better apps. When the page is then played back on the phone, the page is animated with the visuals coming alive.Perhaps to reassure me that all is well and that the culture of reading would continue, it was decided that a sculpture depicting the “reader” would be installed on the balcony. They had to be an alternative reading experience. Hill believed that the reading experience in the digital format existed in the “black and white” era. The book is virtually never printed and for those who require printed copies, a print-on-demand technology helps you acquire a “print” copy at a price. But the battle could only be truly won if the experience for the reader could be shown to be better.It’s this quest for bettering the reading experience that led Bill Gates to appoint a visionary like Bill Hill in Microsoft to experiment with improving the reading experience. Reading had to become digital, the print book had to be replaced.Publishers are publishing both print books and the e-version simultaneously catering to different segments of the market and to individual preferences of the consumer. Ironically, Bezos himself has contributed to the survival of the print book for a major volume of Amazon’s online transactions are in print books. Yes, in academic and professional publishing like medicine, a whole book published as a e-book consists of different chapters.Reading from a print format helps develop imagination and conjure visions in the mind.What is more important is that the reading habit should endure and that is the mark of a cultured society. Obviously now, the book is more interesting to the reader. Books are increasingly being treated as a consumer product and publishers, including Amazon has to make available reading matter to the consumer on a variety of platforms, accessible across a range of devices and in varying quantities. Each chapter is a potential revenue earner with its own promotional write-up. If we are to speculate about the survival of the print book in the future, it will all come down to the reading experience. Could we conclude that people would continue to read from print and that the future of the printed book was secure?It was Jeff Bezos who mounted the first serious challenge to the reading experience from print when he launched the first version of the Amazon Kindle at the Jacob Javits Centre in New York in 2007. Bezos believed that the print book had existed for far too long ever since Gutenberg had invented movable type and thereby mechanised printing in the 1450s.In most cases, the print book has the onslaught of the e-book and in some cases, increased in strength. Others firmly affirmed that they would continually to read only from the print format. Of course, Amazon now deals in a whole range of products apart from books. My anxiety understandably was that things should go smoothly and I should be able to find my books in the new place. Some had indeed experimented with reading on the Amazon Kindle but had not been sufficiently “hooked” to complete reading the whole book. He left Microsoft to set up his Cleartype Foundation. The move necessitated, among other things, a shift of my modest library. Bezos’s personal net worth is more now than that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. The phone can be used to scan the page of a text with visuals, which has a sensor.Reading from a print format helps develop imagination and conjure visions in the mind. The participants were not all that innocent of technology as many of them took screen-shots of my power-point presentation on their phones. Bezos believed that Kindle did just that. Both the e-book and the print book can co-exist and can even be in a symbiotic relationship that may mutually strengthen each other. Experiments in reading and improving the reading experience are likely to continue.While reading is an individual and personal choice between the digital or print format, there’s no reason to believe it needs to be an either “this” or “that”. A future generation may need help in this visualisation and not be able to picture something unless external help is provided. Bezos and others like him believe that readers had got used to the reading experience from the print book for too long. Amazon continues to be the largest online retailer in books with a share that outranks most “brick and mortar” distributors. Here was this compact device, with the new e-ink technology, page-turning software, with a pleasing type-font which could be increased in size and with wireless net connectivity where references could be looked up while bookmarking the page. Hill believed that the reader once subjected to this experience would never go back to the dull and prosaic world of reading from the print format.It’ the battle for engaging with the consumer and gaining his interest that occupies Bezos’s and other entrepreneur’s interest. He promised to take the digital reading experience to the world of vibrant colour, with audio and video to give a totally different experience to the reader. Publishers in the competitive world of school textbooks have innovated with animation apps.We moved into redeveloped premises recently. Bezos may have been premature in sounding the death-knell for the print book key box factory for in all these years the print book has proved to be amazingly resilient and a survivor. In both we had a record number of participants and I decided to add a speculative presentation on reading experiences and on the future of the book.Experiments to enhance the quality of the reading experience continue. It would be difficult to visualize an e-book in its stead!The writer is a senior publishing industry professional who has worked with OUP and is now a senior consultant with Ratna Sagar Books.
Technological advances have helped in producing better and well designed books attractive to the reader.Bezos believed that the print book had existed for far too long ever since Gutenberg had invented movable type and thereby mechanised printing in the 1450s.Hill experimented with design and format, typeface, font and layout to revolutionise the reading experience.I returned from two courses on publishing organised by the National Book Trust at Dharamshala and Imphal recently

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