Ripping off the physical covers of the ‘book’ and moving swiftly into the digital realm immediately raises a number of issues around form, substance, supply chains, delivery platforms, discoverability and business models. Heated ideological, philosophical, pedagogical, and political debates leave people either exhilarated or exhausted. The meaning of the word ‘book’ itself will never again be confined to that of a physical object to be held, admired, loved, subject to spilt coffee, or burning by dictators. The ‘book’ will be defined more around its function than any of its other characteristics. This chapter discusses some of the factors that need to be understood when pondering the new function of the ‘book’.
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- The Academic ‘Book’ of the Future and Its Function