Edging ever closer to an e-reader
I’ve taken a wait-and-see approach to e-readers. Most e-books are just digital versions of the familiar form. Nothing wrong with that, not for this voracious reader. And as prices drop, software becomes more standardized, and libraries expand their borrowable offerings, I edge closer to splitting my reading time between my beloved physical books and their digital counterparts.
But I’m also waiting for e-books to offer a reading experience that’s more than an electronic version of words on a page. Moving Tales is a step in that direction. Tapping into the rich world of classic tales, they are creating e-books they describe as a “digital ‘mash-up’ of methods from the worlds of ebook publishing, graphic novels, film, and interactive media.”
This is what is going to set e-books apart from the bound books we’ve known for centuries, not just the graphical interface of tales like these but the expanded possibilities. When I’m reading a book with footnotes, I’ll touch the number and read the note, instead of flipping to the end of the chapter or back of the book. When I come across an unfamiliar word, I’ll tap on it and find a definition. If a lyre bird appears in the text, I’ll find an image without putting down the book.
I confess I want it all in any e-reader I invest in—the familiarity of the book format I’ve known for years (straight text on a page, in this case a screen) and the endless video, graphic, search, and audio options I see popping up in the iPad App Store. Moving Tales offers the kind of integrated experience that’s softening my resistance. If only iPads weren’t so expensive.
So I’ll wait. In the meantime I can experience a satisfying range of offerings on my computer and in the books by my bedside. And I can watch trailers like this one to see what’s ahead for me.