Tomorrow, I will host the second TwitterFEST session for the Emerging Writers Festival. The session today went down remarkably well, despite my turning up right at the end and contributing only by telling everyone that I was late. In fact, it was fast and furious with discussion flying all over the place. I only hope I’ll be able to keep up (I won’t). So the discussion tomorrow will focus on the iPad, released here in Australia on Friday. Early reports from the United States have focused on just how many people have forked out for one of the slick glass and metal flat screen thingos, despite the generally confused notion of what it actually, you know, does.
While Amazon, Sony, et al have focused on delivering a reader that attempts as much as possible to mimic the experience of a book, Apple has stuck to their vision of a multi-function future. Your devices, they assume, will do everything all the time. Which device you use, depends on context. The iPhone is in your pocket, the computer is on your desk or kitchen table or whatever, the iPad is for the couch and backpack.
How it affects your approach to books and reading will depend on community consensus. Academic publishing seems a doddle. Would you rather an iPad or sixteen doorstop textbooks? How it affects leisurely reading and fiction will likely be more complicated.
How complicated? That’s what I’d be keen to find out tomorrow.
I will try cutting and pasting the discussion (as much as I can) here on the blog tomorrow evening, for anyone like me who turns up late.