Are books dying out?
And could 360°eBooks be the answer?
Fewer adults and children read books…
More than anything, it’s a feeling. With or without the eBook-versus-paper debate, fewer adults read books. Fewer children read books. This feeling connects with other concerns; are we becoming less cultured, less civilized, less empathic, less intellectual – even less nice? But is this feeling based on truth, and if it is then what’s the reason – and why do we think 360° tech has the answer?
Let’s take children first. A YouGov/Scholastic poll found 9% fewer American children read for pleasure since 2010. If you look at American adults, 15% fewer read any book at all (eBook, paperback, audio book) comparing 1978 with 2014. Where the rise of the Web may have dented readership by about 5% around 2001, apps and smartphones appear to have had twice the impact since. The biggest readership dent in both surveys takes place around 2011; right when the popularity of smart phones was really taking off.
Books have to compete
with Apps and Social Media
Whatever the reasons, readers only have a finite amount of reading they can do. It’s not too hard to believe (is it?) that the more apps we use, or the more social media we interact with whilst on the move or preparing to sleep, the less we’ll settle down into a good book. That means books do have some fresh competition because of technology.
To retrieve some of that lost priority across age groups, and in response to the bright buttons, the interactive games and sheer density of content on our smart phones, books could be made more attractive. We’ve always admired the hardback or (at a push) paperback with beautiful visual qualities. Illustration, illumination, hand-sketched plates, unique jackets, beautiful bindings, special papers. They are meant to be a visual and tactile feast. But standing up next to today’s computer-generated blockbuster movie, augmented reality app, sickeningly addictive “likes” of affirmation on social media, classic book illustration is no longer enough. Or it is, but there’s a whole new generation out there (tweens, kids, even thirtysomethings) who don’t get it (and if they do have since forgotten it all in a mobile device daze).
We need to make books more attractive…
Strangely, technology can be the medium for amazing visual media and excellent art. It simply hasn’t made that connection with the written word quite yet. TurlBook® is bringing text and today’s visual culture together in a brand new eBook format. It is reinventing storytelling with moving interactive illustrations in 360°. You step in, and then you can look around in the story – making the idea of a magic book a reality. You can move as you wish, and expand your imagination as you go. Adults will discover new worlds. Children will fall in love with reading. You can already preview magical working demonstrations and add your pre-campaign support at www.turlbook.com/. With hundreds of early fans, the crowdfunding (Kickstarter/ Indiegogo) starts when it has a little more early support (expected early 2017).