Penguin has been laying out its plans for reading on Apple’s iPad, and they go beyond the basic e-books some of us currently enjoy.
The publishing house wants to produce interactive books which are truly different to the printed variety, and it has been demonstrating them recently.
These include kids books which use the iPad to add an extra level of interactivity. For example, a Spot book the company showed off featured a picture of a table full of toys. Shake the iPad, and they fall off onto the floor. You can then pick and drag them back up onto the table to tidy up.
Then there’s Vampire Academy, which comes with its own bolted on community, and built-in chat features so you can discuss all things undead with fellow readers.
Dorling Kindersley titles such as The Human Body, an anatomy reference text, are also brought more to life with diagrams that can be zoomed right in on, and working 3D models of the various organs which can be accessed.
As Penguin admits, all this rather blurs the line between the e-book and computer program, and many of these projects will be created as applications, and sold in app stores.
It’s certainly an interesting time for the world of virtual books. In the US, Penguin reckons 10% of its sales will be e-books next year, more than double the current 4%.