I don't usually post an entire link about third-party articles but this is too good. Books in the Age of the iPad is an interesting look at the benefit of technology in terms of publishing. The article surmises that we will finally be rid of all the low-quality books and paperbacks and the (fewer) physical books that we'll end up buying will be more experiential. They will be—in short—better designed and worth the price. Here's a quick introduction:
"As the publishing industry wobbles and Kindle sales jump, book romanticists cry themselves to sleep. But really, what are we shedding tears over?
We’re losing the throwaway paperback.
The airport paperback.
The beachside paperback.
We’re losing the dregs of the publishing world: disposable books. The book printed without consideration of form or sustainability or longevity. The book produced to be consumed once and then tossed. The book you bin when you’re moving and you need to clean out the closet."
The piece then goes into how we will decide what gets printed and what goes predominantly digital, using samples from the authors own personal book collection. Written by @craigmod I found this perspective incredibly exciting as I believe the best of book design is yet to come. The one aspect that is a bit scary is the decreasing size of print runs for 'real' books, making each individual book more expensive. I can't imagine a time when even a person of modest means couldn't afford a small library of classics.
Here's to more interactive books, whether they be pixel-based or ink.