Magazine article American Libraries

More E-Book Thoughts

Magazine article American Libraries

More E-Book Thoughts

Article excerpt

After I read "Should Libraries Jump on the E-Book Bandwagon?" (Aug., p. 61-65), I got to thinking about how little I read these days. I listen instead. I listen in the car, at the YMCA, in my office, at home. I listen to audiobooks. What's more, I think I prefer listening to reading.

And that got me to thinking about the flexibility of the e-book. The e-book, because it is digital, could be both readable and listenable. After all, talking books are now being released on compact discs.

Then I got to thinking about what might be possible with the e-book. Imagine listening to chapter one of The Phantom Menace while driving to work, reading chapters two and three at lunch, listening to chapter four on the way home, and that evening watching five through eight on your home television.

Wow! That's what I call extreme multimedia.

The e-book has the potential to be a sort of electronic opera. We can watch opera, of course, but we can also listen to it, or just read the libretto. …

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