The Future of the Book

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Within a decade of its invention, ten percent of the world's population connected to the Internet. Billions of pages have been published on it and we find ourselves thrust into a new universe of textual media that leaves behind the linear world of the book. Digital
pages now speak hypertext, multi-modal and non-linear narrative, providing formerly passive book readers with navigation choices that turn them into active 'users' of texts and the representation of virtual worlds bring the imaginary suddenly so close, instantly
and palpably.

As more and more people consume stories through pixels, it’s interesting to consider the overall future of the book in the digital age. What place does it have alongside the rich media environment of television, podcasts, radio, the Internet, computer games and the mobile phone? What developments are helping to sustain or disrupt the books place in our world and what is the books future as a conduit for human creativity?

In the context of today's rapid developments in information technologies, the book is an old medium of expression embodying thousands of years experience of recorded knowledge. With some exploration we might identify new opportunities for readers, publishers,
and authors to discover, consume, and connect in different formats. And in turn, the information architecture of the book may well provide the solid grounding, critical to the success of every adventure into the world of new media.

Emma Nuttall is a Doctoral Candidate researching emerging narrative tools for storytellers using digital platforms. stories. It is a practice-led PhD and she has worked on interactive theatre pieces, co-written locative based experiences, produced digital fiction pieces for smartphones and co-founded a publishing house (VIKA Books) specialising in producing books which merge digital experiences with the physical print object.