Extinct bookshelves

Let’s talk books. Now before you turn your nose up, these aren’t just any old books. We’re talking electronic books. Digital books. Books that Q would have been proud of. See it’s not so bad. So what’s the plan for digital books and how will they make the dog eared things we’re used to a thing of the past? Get reading below for the answers.

Electronic paper (or e-paper) goes something like this. It’s made up of white charged particles in a dark liquid. And when hit by an electric field, the white particles do their party piece by rising up or floating down. The remaining black stuff gives you the words. Makes simple sense.

Anything else you should know? Course there is. For a start, the letter size can be messed with – so great news if you’ve got the eyesight of a mole. They also have a back-light for reading in the dark and because they don’t require the services of paper and ink, they’re green too. And that’s a colour we all like.

Let’s keep the momentum going. Pages can be read from almost any angle and in blazing sunlight – so digital books and tropical beaches won’t have to be pulled apart. And with hundreds of books available to download at the jab of a button, you can pick-up a best-seller without moving an inch. Lazy, yes. But who cares?

Further down the line, don’t be surprised to see newspapers and magazines also receive the E treatment. Think my Christmas list has a new frontrunner.

For an even wider picture of e-paper and e-ink, here’s where you need to be:

This is what happened when Andrew Marr gave an e-book his attention:

If publishing e-books is the way forward for you, look into being:

  • writer creating fiction or non-fiction books
  • journalist writing for papers of magazines
  • An agent looking after your clients interest and ensuring the largest possible audience for their book
  • publishing editor managing the publication of books on any subject
  • An advertising account executive advertising the e-book to the public
  • solicitor advising clients on copyright matters, to help prevent illegal copying and piracy of an e-book

Or you could work to develop new technology for e-books as:

  • computer engineer designing the computer components of e-books to make them as small and light as possible
  • physicist looking at the electrical properties of materials to find new forms of electronic ink
  • software developer devising new software to run efficiently and reliably
  • An electronics engineer researching ways to supply the power to e-paper to achieve readable results