The Future of the Traditional

19 03 2009

With Google announcing in October 2008 that they have digitised over 7 million books  – the future of books looks set to exist on-line.

While I like to think that I attempt to embrace most advances in technology, I have to admit that I remain a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to personal reading. While I spend hours on-line reading sites, blogs and researching information – I still find that there’s nothing quite like holding a physical book in your own hands.

I recently came across Penguin’s We Tell Stories – Digital Fiction from Penguin, a digital project which wholly demonstrates how far writing has come in the digital arena. With one writer using Google maps to tell his tale, and another writer telling a horror story through a serious of blog posts. The future of literature is interactive and exciting – but will it impact on the quality of the content?

Readers will no longer rely solely on the words on the page to engage them – but now expectations will be set that stories will involve some form of interactivity, will be in original formats, and will even use user generated content – where the reader is in control of the story.

For an increasingly expectant and tech savvy younger audience, it won’t take long for readers to expect these new formats, what does this mean for old classics? While Google’s actions will ensure that most literature won’t be forgotten – will they stand the test of time when compared to the shiny new ones?

Digital has seen the shift of the most traditional aspects of our lives onto the on-line space, businesses, our conversations, our memories, our transactions, and the list continues to grow.