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Reading and Writing the Electronic Book

Book Description

Developments over the last twenty years have fueled considerable speculation about the future of the book and of reading itself. This book begins with a gloss over the history of electronic books, including the social and technical forces that have shaped their development. The focus then shifts to reading and how we interact with what we read: basic issues such as legibility, annotation, and navigation are examined as aspects of reading that ebooks inherit from their print legacy. Because reading is fundamentally communicative, I also take a closer look at the sociality of reading: how we read in a group and how we share what we read. Studies of reading and ebook use are integrated throughout the book, but Chapter 5 "goes meta" to explore how a researcher might go about designing his or her own reading-related studies. No book about ebooks is complete without an explicit discussion of content preparation, i.e., how the electronic book is written. Hence, Chapter 6 delves into the underlying representation of ebooks and efforts to create and apply markup standards to them. This chapter also examines how print genres have made the journey to digital and how some emerging digital genres might be realized as ebooks. Finally, Chapter 7 discusses some beyond-the-book functionality: how can ebook platforms be transformed into portable personal libraries? In the end, my hope is that by the time the reader reaches the end of this book, he or she will feel equipped to perform the next set of studies, write the next set of articles, invent new ebook functionality, or simply engage in a heated argument with the stranger in seat 17C about the future of reading.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Copyright
  3. Title Page
  4. Abstract
  5. Preface
  6. Contents
  7. Figure Credits
  8. 1. Introduction
    1. 1.1 Generation 1: A New World of Hypermedia
    2. 1.2 Generation 2: EBook Hardware Arrives
    3. 1.3 Generation 3: ePaper and the Quiet Revolution
    4. 1.4 This Book
  9. 2. Reading
    1. 2.1 Reading
      1. 2.1.1 Assumptions About Reading
      2. 2.1.2 Purposes of Reading
      3. 2.1.3 Types of Reading
    2. 2.2 Layout, Typography, and Legibility
    3. 2.3 Studies of the Effect of Layout on Readers’ Performance
    4. 2.4 Reading Hardware and Display Technologies
  10. 3. Interaction
    1. 3.1 Annotation
      1. 3.1.1 Representing Annotations
      2. 3.1.2 Anatomy of an Annotation
      3. 3.1.3 Linking
      4. 3.1.4 Functions of Annotation
      5. 3.1.5 Status and Value of Annotations
    2. 3.2 Navigation
      1. 3.2.1 Three Navigation Scenarios
      2. 3.2.2 Moving
      3. 3.2.3 Orienting
    3. 3.3 Clipping
    4. 3.4 Bookmarking
    5. 3.5 Hardware for Interacting with EBooks
      1. 3.5.1 Hardware That Supports Navigation
      2. 3.5.2 Pen-Based Interaction
    6. 3.6 Essential but Insufficient
  11. 4. Reading as a Social Activity
    1. 4.1 Reading Together
      1. 4.1.1 Shared Focus
      2. 4.1.2 Collaborative Search and Reference Following
      3. 4.1.3 Reading Together as an Informal Act
      4. 4.1.4 Peer-to-Peer Sharing
    2. 4.2 Sharing the Artifacts of Reading
      1. 4.2.1 Reading to Know What Other People Know
      2. 4.2.2 Sharing Annotations
      3. 4.2.3 Aggregating Annotations: The Wisdom of Crowds
      4. 4.2.4 Sharing Encountered Information
      5. 4.2.5 Information Brokering
      6. 4.2.6 Sharing and Recommending Books
  12. 5. Studying Reading
    1. 5.1 Types of Studies.
    2. 5.2 Quantitative/Laboratory Studies
      1. 5.2.1 Performance Metrics for Reading
      2. 5.2.2 Eye-Tracking
    3. 5.3 Field Studies
      1. 5.3.1 Interview Studies
      2. 5.3.2 Diary Studies
      3. 5.3.3 Observational Studies
      4. 5.3.4 Surveys and Questionnaires
      5. 5.3.5 Instrumenting Software
    4. 5.4 Performing a Field Study of Reading
      1. 5.4.1 Research Questions and Study Design .109
      2. 5.4.2 Finding Participants
      3. 5.4.3 Developing an Interview Script
      4. 5.4.4 Preparing Materials
      5. 5.4.5 In the Field
      6. 5.4.6 Data Analysis
  13. 6. Content: Markup and Genres
    1. 6.1 Content Representation
      1. 6.1.1 Page Description Languages
      2. 6.1.2 Markup Languages
      3. 6.1.3 Packaging Files
      4. 6.1.4 Accessibility
      5. 6.1.5 Digital Rights Management
      6. 6.1.6 DRM Technologies
      7. 6.1.7 DRM in Use
      8. 6.1.8 Standards Efforts
    2. 6.2 Content Preparation
    3. 6.3 Paper Genres Reborn
      1. 6.3.1 eNewspapers
      2. 6.3.2 eMagazines
      3. 6.3.3 eTextbooks and Course Packs
      4. 6.3.4 Electronic Journals
    4. 6.4 New Digital Genres
    5. 6.5 EBooks and Libraries
      1. 6.5.1 A Pilot EBook Program in a Public Library
      2. 6.5.2 EBook Experiences in Other Libraries
    6. 6.6 Sustainability and Digital Preservation
  14. 7. Beyond the Book
    1. 7.1 Beyond Paper Capabilities
      1. 7.1.1 Domain- and Practice-Specific Capabilities
      2. 7.1.2 Within-Book Search
    2. 7.2 Portable Personal Libraries and Collection-Level Functionality
      1. 7.2.1 Search at the Collection Level
      2. 7.2.2 Re-encountering
      3. 7.2.3 Gathering and Triage
      4. 7.2.4 Supporting Browsing with Computed Visualizations
      5. 7.2.5 Metadata for Personal Digital Libraries
    3. 7.3 Conclusion.
  15. References
  16. Author Biography