Beyond the Book
Our collaborative multimedia publication, “Beyond the Book,” will address these big questions:
Humans have been inscribing and sharing information since the cave painting was a cutting-edge technology. Now our reading tools range from 20kg hardbound dictionaries and lightweight paperbacks to smartphone screens and e-readers. What technologies will we use to read, write and share information in the future?
How will people find new books to read in the future?
Half the fun of reading is hunting for the next book. We used to find books through critics, friends and moments of serendipity at the bookstore or library. Now algorithms and Big Data predict our every literary want and need. What is the future of literary discovery?
How will books be produced in the future?
From woodblocks and the printing press to pop-up books and the .epub format, the history of books is also a history of economics and industrial production. Who will produce books in the future, and how?
How will books be edited in the future?
Will traditional editors be eclipsed by digital technology and crowdsourcing? Wikipedia is a testament to the power of collective publishing, while algorithms are playing prominent roles in curating the news on websites like The Huffington Post and Google News. What will editing look like in the future?
How will the concept of the book evolve in the future?
When we think of a book, we still think of a tangible, printed object with pages and a spine. As books become digitized in more sophisticated ways, how will the definition of “book” change? How will social reading, multiple pathways and rich media transform the meaning of the word “book”?
In what new ways will authors engage with their readers?
In an increasingly crowded literary marketplace, authors are selling themselves as much as their ideas. How will literary celebrity evolve with social media and ubiquitous computing? What new roles will reading communities play?
What is the future of publishing?
Technological and social change have severely disrupted the publishing industry’s economic and cultural machinery. How will publishers adjust to the new normal in order to remain profitable and culturally relevant? What new opportunities do digital books and more active readers provide for innovation and creativity?