Culture is future » Innovation and digital


The Digital book is searching for its model

Web review - 25/09/2015

From its fiscal assimilation in Europe to a digital service and the French controversies on the lagality  of an unlimited subscription offer, the digital book concentrates the mirages and worries triggered by this ‘history just beginning’ as François Benhamou writes it in her book ‘Le livre à l’heure du numérique, papier, écrans vers un nouveau vagabondage…’ (Seuil 2014).

Indeed, the news of the digital book is full with vagrancy.

On the French side, an unlimited subscription offer is now legal – under restricted conditions -, which enables many startups like youboox or youscribe to try to seduce new e-readers. The announcement in the United-States of the bankruptcy of Oyster’s subscription service – because of bag economic model – highlights the problems of a legal profusion of offers at low prices.

Nice initiatives are numerous to share the pleasure of reading : books ambassadros in schools for the summer ‘lire en short’ festival – a CNL initiative – or the app Booxup that geolocalises books people are ready to loan. ‘People make use of their books as they wish’ supports their founders. Anyone always believing in the free circulation of books share it with other people : to create the desire to read triggers an air suction to read.

 ‘People do not want to read books anymore, they want to hear them’ told Yves Michaud at Futur en Seine in June 2015 during a debate organised by the Forum d’Avignon. Bokk shops and libraries have realised that they could appeal a public looking for sensorial and physical experiences : workshops, fablab and other places where design is part of observation and experimentation. Books shops and libraries pursue two main goals : refresh their images but also transform their territories ‘Library spaces provide a grounding (in a physical place) for engagement with information and knowledge, explains John Palfrey – the author of the book ‘Bibliothech : why libraries matter more than ever in the Age of Google’ – They provide spaces for contemplation . They also provide space and moments for collaboration, for co-production of knowledge, for exchange of ideas. ‘

If this industrial and cognitive revolution is under way, no one will be out of it, which is not for the worse : ‘the storm makes pages fly but they will still end on a new shelf’ this is how Françoise Benhamou concluded her book in 2014. The latter still have their word to say ! More than a service, a book – no matter what form it takes – is first a work of art to dream and a link to share. Next discovery? An enriched Emile Zola’s book ‘Au Bonheur des Dames’ that the BNF and Orange will present on the 5th of October. The rest – for our most pleasure – is only literature. 


Booxup : « Readers make use of their books as they wish »

In world where digital tools multiply, the Booxup app offers a network dedicated to enable people to exchange books. The private books loan service sparked the interest of the book industry actors and of the DGCRF that asked for a preventive investigation on the app. The information had raised up numerous reactions, mainly from authors : founders answer them.

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English-speaking libraries must invest in digital

While tech-libraries without any physical books have emerged in the United-States, a large number of American and Anglosaxon libraries face their lack of investment or communication in the digital, which triggers a decrease in their public interest. Yet studies should how interested are people in digital. Therefore being able to conciliate physical books and digital books seems to be a major issue for the future of libraries. 

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The online library Oyster is about to disappear

Not only successful stories happen in the Silicon Valley. The startup Oyster had the ambition to become the Netflix of digital book. But hardly after two years  of existence – since 2013 – this online library is going to close.

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Author explains why libraries matter even in the internet age

Library spaces provide a grounding (in a physical place) for engagement with information and knowledge. They provide spaces for contemplation. They also provide space and moments for collaboration, for co-production of knowledge, for exchange of ideas. I also think we still love the experience of walking into the physical stacks of libraries, experiencing the serendipity of encountering the unexpected alongside the expected (items found in a library).

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Books ambassadors in Lyon’s scholls to make children like reading

‘Books ambassadors’ lead by the Afey association will organise in all Lyon’s primary schools workshops and reading activities 24 hours a week. This is a first time to that scale in France, annouced the association and the city.

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Drawing credit: Louison, Cartooning for Peace for the Forum d’Avignon.