Burning the Page: The eBook Revolution and the Future of Reading

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Overview

A groundbreaking vision on the future of reading, from an early innovator on Amazon's Kindle team.

  • Is digital the death knell for print?
  • Or will it reinvigorate the written word?
  • What will happen to bookstores, book browsing, libraries, even autographs?
  • Will they die out—or evolve into something new?

In Burning the Page, digital pioneer ...

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Burning the Page: The eBook Revolution and the Future of Reading

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Overview

A groundbreaking vision on the future of reading, from an early innovator on Amazon's Kindle team.

  • Is digital the death knell for print?
  • Or will it reinvigorate the written word?
  • What will happen to bookstores, book browsing, libraries, even autographs?
  • Will they die out—or evolve into something new?

In Burning the Page, digital pioneer Jason Merkoski charts the ebook revolution's striking impact on the ways in which we create, discover, and share ideas. From the sleek halls of Silicon Valley to the jungles of Southeast Asia, Merkoski explores how ebooks came to be and predicts innovative and interactive ways digital content will shape our lives. Throughout, you are invited to continue the conversation online and help shape this exciting new world of "Reading 2.0."

For those who love books, collect books, own an e-reader, vow never to own one, or simply want to know where books are headed, this is a crucial guide to both the future of reading and to our digital culture as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A mixture of an insider's tale, quirky analysis and informed speculation about our onrushing digital destiny, told with an appealing ambivalence that should give it a wide readership" - The New York Times

"I could review Burning the Page for another thousand words, and still have more to say. This book is incredibly valuable. We've not had much exposure to the minds of those driving the e-book revolution, and to have something to engage and in places disagree with strongly is rather novel." - Futurebook

"Merkoski envisions some specific innovations that are interesting and imaginative." - paidContent

"A provocative book." - Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews
Merkoski, one of the leading members of the team that developed and launched Amazon's Kindle and the e-book revolution, shares his views on "the future of reading, communication, and human culture." The author compares the development of e-readers to Gutenberg's invention of the printing press 500 years ago. Just as the Gutenberg Bible laid the basis for mass distribution of books and the spread of literacy, Merkoski dreams of the creation of pocket devices that can contain the contents of entire public libraries. "Reading has not only been transformed," he writes, "but also rebooted." The author attributes Amazon's initial success as a market leader to its ability to create "an easy, seamless customer experience," as well as its marketing expertise and its pre-existing customer base. Crediting iPads with greater sensual appeal and Kindle with quicker access, in his opinion, the two greatest inventions if the 21st century so far have been Apple's iPhone and Amazon's Kindle. What's lacking is the ability for complex indexing using links. It is Kindle's connection to the cloud that will allow it to become mainstream, writes Merkoski, who foresees a tipping point looming when e-book readers will overtake the printed book and social networking will be directly incorporated into the reading experience. This will allow ongoing collaborative revisions by readers and the original author. Looking further to the future, Merkoski imagines that "linear line-by-line reading" may become "a quaint pastime like butter churning or horseback riding." It could be replaced by holographic projections and other visuals. Further into the future, the author imagines the possibility of mind-to-mind direct communication, "some sort of high-speed plug that goes into an author's head, some way of taking an author's imagination and converting it directly into a digital format." Although he is no longer connected with Amazon, Merkoski does not discuss the current disputes among publishers, Amazon and Apple. A provocative book that will appeal mostly to futurologists, techies and devoted readers, many of whom will not share Merkoski's love of technology but will find the book interesting nonetheless.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402288838
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 780,193
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Merkoski was a development manager, product manager, and the first technology evangelist at Amazon. He helped to invent technology used in today's eBooks and was a member of the launch team for each of the first three Kindle devices. Trained in theoretical math at MIT, he worked for almost two decades in telecommunications and e-commerce with America's biggest online retailers, and he's worked with publishers large and small to shape the future of eBooks. As a digital pioneer, he wrote and published the first online eBook in the 1990s. As a futurist, he's equally at home in Seattle or Silicon Valley, although he's drawn to the high desert of New Mexico, where he can string up his hammock and stare into the clouds and ancient petroglyphs.
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