Earlier today I watched Mike Matas: A next-generation digital book. If you follow him at all, you’ll know he’s an expert in design and UI, proven through his work on Mac OS and the iPhone. So naturally, before I started the video I expected his vision for digital content to be a good one. I was not disappointed: it was a really good one.
However, as good as the interactions and ideas were in their approach, I still see the value in regular books. I would hate the day the world goes all digital. Maybe it’s because I’m a designer and hence a visual person, but I find enjoyment in owning a physical book. Most of the books I buy are design-related, and things like textures, quality of the paper, the cover art, the spine, and content imagery are often just as inspiring (see Hardboiled Web Design). Those features – real, physical features – should not be taken for granted.
Plus, what would this shelving unit look like if physical books were obsolete?
Something tells me they would lose their appeal if it were just an iPad sitting on its dock.
I’m all for digital books. I personally own a Kindle and I read content via iBooks on my iPad all the time. Digital books absolutely have their place in todays world, I just hope it’s not at the expense of the real thing.