If E-books Have No Physical Form, What Defines them as Books?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

book text

By Edward Nawotka

In today’s lead story James Bridle suggests, “The book — by which I mean long-form text, in any format — is not a physical thing, but a temporal one.” It is, in essence, a commitment of one’s time to having a particular experience dictated by an “author” — whomever or whatever that may be.

As e-books challenge our conception of the book, taking it out of the physical and moving into the digital, what indeed defines a book? And how elastic is the word “book?” Does it merely signify long-form text or is it also something more?┬áText/video/toys, for example.

Read Bridle’s article and then tell us what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.