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Books become hybrids


Since last spring, the Helsinki City Library has been lending e-book readers. The e-readers have been quite popular, despite the fact that the electronic content only includes old material free of copyrights. However, if the Finnish society is able to create a set of common rules that are accepted by publishers, authors and libraries, the Central Library could be able to lend both printed and electronic material.

It is also likely that the authors and the publishing industry will soon come up with new ways for publishing digital content. For example, so-called “vooks”, which are books that combine text with video clips, are already available. These hybrid books have already been tested in Finland, for example for supporting language learning. It makes you wonder what kinds of sources for experiences will become available by 2017, considering that novels can also be enhanced with sound as well as cinematic or even game-like sequences.

The traditional novel is likely to hold its ground, but the new formats will surely have passionate supporters. All of this will bring the traditional author one step closer to being a software designer or movie director…

Anna-Maria Soininvaara

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