In “The Form of the Book”, Mandy Brown writes,
Furthermore, digital books should no more adhere to identical designs than their print counterparts; different types of writing, different voices and tempos, require unique approaches to design. The current crop of ebook formats were designed for the novel, and on that they do a fine job; but countless other texts—cookbooks, technical books, graphic novels, books on art, plays, verse—are rendered unreadable by that conformity. If the form of the book is changing, it ought to lead to more variety, not less.
I agree with this statement and find it surprising that e-readers were not created with this in mind. That said, I should state that I own neither a Kindle nor an ipad, nor any other ereading device save for my laptop screen, but even here I have found some texts to be unreadable or unenjoyable in their screen format. Brown’s words did remind me, however, of this video of Alice in Wonderland for the iPad. Though I’ve not seen the application in action, it seemed a reminder that unique and creative ebook design is possible and is out there and reaches beyond the confines of conventional novel formats (contradiction?) and not only creates an aesthetically pleasing format for Alice in Wonderland to be enjoyed on the iPad, but also uses the technology to give the reader a different and enriched experience of the text than if it were read in print. In this way the application pushes beyond current design boundaries of print, which seem to have superimposed themselves onto the Kindle and other such ereaders, and embraces the possibilities available in this new medium. I’m not suggesting that all texts become interactive parodies of their printed originals upon entering the ebook realm, but simply that ebook designers embrace the possibilities to heighten the reader’s experience of the book, rather than diminish it.