eBooks & YA: Pushing Boundaries

All right, I’m trying a slightly different angle on ebooks this morning–a positive one.  Can you believe it? I woke up to the following tweet:

John Hodgman Quote

Knowing that John Hodgman falls into the category of “book people”–he will not sanction digital versions of his own books–his comment still points to an underlying value of reading regardless of form.

Then, I stumbled upon an article entitled, “What’s My Age Again? What the Popularity of YA means for Digital Publishers” by Erica Hartnett of EContent Magazine.  This piece establishes the broadening market and appeal of YA literature and questions the implications of this on the digital front.  To do so, they referred to a recent interview with David Levithan:

David Levithan Interview (The full text of this interview can be found here

Here, the idea of digital is taken a step further to become a reading platform of greater accessibility and without stigma for those shy readers out there (don’t be ashamed of your reading habit!).  The emphasis lies in content and community, which should result in a positive, enriched experience.  Obviously, I can’t knock that.

Because we had been reading Michael Sullivan in my Youth Services class, I had already been thinking about the potential ebooks have to reach boy readers who prefer reading comics, magazines, manuals, and other “non-traditional” forms of writing.  It seems to me that the interactive features and added content–like that on DVDs–would appeal to these readers who aren’t attracted standard novels.  If done well and not simply as bells-&-whistles editions, ebooks could become an excellent option for boys to find more reading material they love.

Overall, when you take away the market-driven aspect of going digital, there’s a lot of potential lurking under the surface:

“That’s what makes all of this so exciting, though; it pushes comfort levels both in terms of content as well as form. Moreover, if you take the core audience into consideration, there is perhaps greater opportunity to be on the leading edge in the exploration of print and digital technology.”

It will be interesting to see where such developments take us and what new traditions will be formed.


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