Monday, May 2, 2011

The Future of Print

21 Interesting e-books for kids, a blog posting from Big Think / Dangerously Irrelevant (Scott McLeod, co-creator of the video "Did You Know? Shift Happens"), May 2, 2011.  Amazing stuff, but is this really "a glimpse into what the future of children’s publishing is going to look like"?


Scott McLeod said...

What do you think it's going to look like? Don't you think it will be more digital, multimedia, and interactive? :)

Moira Ekdahl said...

Hi Scott. How nice to hear from you!

Unquestionably new developments in the possibilities for digital text are exciting and yes, there will be more digital, multimedia, and interactive book experiences for all of us. But I think stories well told and illustrated in print will survive. And if the quality of print and children's literature continues to develop alongside the digital version, I am inclined to believe Aidan Chambers who said that stories well told (and well illustrated in the case of children's literature and possibly some other genres like graphic novels) will thrive as theatre did with the development of television and art did with the development of the camera.

Scott McLeod said...

I'll concur with you generally (and thanks for the warm welcome!). New technologies rarely supplant old ones completely, at least in the short run. After all, you can still buy vinyl records. But I'm fairly certain that over time the dominant form will be digital. There are too many affordances - and too many opportunities for interaction and for synergies with other media - for the printed children's book to remain top dog. Will there still be niche children's book products that publishers think are worth printing on paper? Yes, absolutely (again, vinyl records!). I don't know if we'll be buying them in physical (rather than virtual) book stores, since that's another paradigm that seems to be shifting (witness the recent bankruptcy announcements of Border's and Whitcoull's).

But who knows? Maybe I'm full of it! Wouldn't be the first time. But I'm guessing that we both can agree that the next decade is going to be pretty interesting as we envision the future of print, for kids and adults both... :)

Thanks for the conversation!