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Neffe, Jürgen

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Die Zeit - Germany | 23/04/2009

Jürgen Neffe on the triumphal march of e-books

Writing for the German weekly Die Zeit Jürgen Neffe bids farewell to the good old book in its traditional form. "If books can be read on all kinds of gadgets that can show pictures, play soundtracks and establish connections with the Internet and other devices, it won't be long before their creators start using multimedia devices to produce works that don't fit in with Gutenberg's universe. There will be bestsellers that are never published in print form; serial mobile phone novels that everyone reads because everyone is talking about them (this can already be observed on Tokyo's subway); unprintable, multimedia, continually updated, extensively animated non-fiction books; individualised travel guides or encyclopaedias that have very little in common with their paper predecessors; interconnected works by networks of authors; intertwining stories that come alive before the audience's eyes, and so many other things we can't even imagine today. Beyond the surface a world of information and commentaries awaits us. … Books will be part of our lives as never before, and yet we will still be able to go back to the printed versions and read them to the end in one go. There will always be such books."

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