The Future of the Book

The idea of the book and the way it has been presented has evolved drastically over the course of human history. Starting out on palm sized clay tablets, which allowed for a convenient way to transport information. The scroll came next in the books development. Scrolls could fit much more information on them and could be constructed out of a variety of materials such as animal skin and papyrus. Next came the codex, which is what most people think of when they visualize a book. Organized pages, table of contents and brief messages from the author all secured between the cover and backing, made the codex user friendly and highly valuable. Eventually we found our way into digital text, which is able to be altered in anyways we choose. Most readers accessed these digital text via computer or E-reader device. With digital text we see the desire to no longer have our ideas set in stone. Instead, we wish to interact with the ideas in the text, adding in our interpretations, correcting mistakes and sharing newly formed concepts with friends and peers. 

Augmented Reality 

Todays reader has what seems to be an endless selection of how they wish to engage with the book. Some prefer the analog feel of the codex while others follow the flow of emerging technology. Utilizing highly advanced A.R. (Augmented Reality) glasses/contact lenses, readers now have the book displayed across their eyes. No longer reliant on the codex or screens, this new “reading vision” allows the user to enjoy their favorite book without the use of hands. Using only eye movements or voice commands, the reader can select any book they wish to read and even record voice annotations through a built in microphone. These annotations can then be uploaded onto a cloud where they can be accessed from anyone, depending on your privacy settings. Writer’s collaborating on a new book can share their drafts with one another and take note of any corrections or recommendations.

 “The design of such readers has gradually streamlined to minimize buttons and dials, heightening the sense that are simply interfaces for engaging with text” (Borsuk, The Book)

Virtual Reality 

Perhaps 100% hands free isn’t your preferred way of interacting with a book. In which case flawlessly integrated V.R. (Virtual Reality) would be the ideal form for you. Simply place the newly refined lenses over your eyes, attach tiny motion sensors to your palms and finger tips and you’re good to go. This fully immersive reading experience allows the user to “flip” through pages, “write” any annotations (using finger tips or V.R. pen) and share with anyone in real time. V.R. can allow you the option to pick what your virtual space looks like. For example, let’s say the book you’re currently reading takes place in deep space or even in the past. Simply allow the A.I. image generator, conveniently integrated into the lenses, to scan your readings and create that specific environment for you. You even have the capability to invite friends into your virtual space to read together and discuss ideas. Virtual book clubs have become highly popular as a result of this technology. The convince of joining close friends to share your thoughts on a book without ever having to leave the comfort of home is ideal for those with busy schedules. 

Academic Benefits 

Highly advanced virtual reality is also a great tool for schools and job training. Students are now able to experience history books, mathematical formulas and science experiments in a fully immersive digital space. This helps the student to develop a more personal interactive experience with the book, allowing for stronger retention of academic knowledge. Trade schools and job training have also utilized virtual reality by integrating their various books. This process gives the trainee the opportunity to learn hands on without wasting physical materials or fear of injury.


Authors of this new era have a multitude of ways to write and publish their works. Some prefer to work alone while others create group efforts. Most prefer to interact with their reading audience while working on their current writings. This technique seems to be the most beneficial to both author and reader as the reader gets to express their interpretations and desires, and the author, can shape their books in a way to maintain the readers attention. Once these writings are complete, the author has the option to sell directly to their audience or have their work digitally distributed and available through monthly subscriptions.

 We’ve come a long way from the days of scrolls and pages of immutable text. The main driving force for this evolution is and was our desire to interact more personally with the book and have the ability to share our interpretations. This is not to say that the analog version is completely unusable. It simply comes down to how one personally prefers to interact with their readings.   


Work cited

Borsuk, Amaranth. “The Book“. The MIT Press, 2018.

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