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Interactive physical books

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Reading some very interesting tweets from the Society of Young Publishers conference, a thought just struck me: interactivity in physical books has always been there, but previously it’s not been permitted. From medieval monks drawing monkeys mooning in the margins to sitting in class drawing speech bubbles on the photo stories of Tricolore, it’s historically been a subversive act to interact with the text and alter it.

For example, in French class, reading about Jean Claude and Marie going to the shops, we teased out the subtext with speech bubbles and it became clear they were actually dealing drugs.

Defacing books is usually forbidden, even though it has a beauty and a charm – there’s nothing lovelier, I think, than finding an ancient note-to-self in a book.

So, the digital interactive book gives you permission to mess around in the guts of the text. I wonder if that’s going to take a bit of the fun out of it? Though, maybe not – murals are just as much fun as graffiti, just different.

For the SYP discussion, by the way, look up the hashtag #sypconf12. There are some very interesting points being made about interactivity, printing and… all sorts of publishing stuff.


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