With all the shit going down with Harper Collins lately, one can’t help but have e-books slammed into their face non-stop – at least if you work in library land. Shoot, forget just working in Library Land, I heard the Harper Collins issue and ensuing library boycotts were in the NYT yesterday.
While I think that its pretty lame of HarperCollins, I get it. They’re money hungry, and I don’t have an e-reader. Christian has a kindle, but I’m old fashioned and like things like paper cuts and the smell of disintegrating paper. Not that Christian uses his kindle that much though – he just recently found the plug which was lost in our move to San Pedro back in September and decided to start using it again. I’m holding out for the iPad before I convert.
Anyways, this got me thinking about pictures books and the future of picture books if everything goes digital like they keep threatening. And, I don’t believe the prophecies. Not all books can go to digital. Especially in Children’s Books. Roger Sutton, editor of Horn Book, brought up a great point about children’s books today on his blog:
…some books depend upon format more than others, that paper (in this case) allows you to see the textures that are an important part of the storytelling strategy, and that page-turns can be crucial.
This got me thinking about books where one page is dependent upon having another page behind it to make the illustration and the story work appropriately. What I’m thinking of are those books like Ed Emberley’s, Go Away Big Green Monster, which builds an entire monster (and makes him disappear) with each turn of the page, or Laura Seeger’s One Boy, amongst many other of her titles. How do you replicate this type of storytelling and art into an e-book? Is it possible? Or is something lost in the re-formatting? I feel like the suspense of turning the physical page makes a difference in these books – seeing where you’ve been and wondering where you’re going.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I found a photo online of the inside of Go Away Big Green Monster so that hopefully you can see the detail of what I’m discussing.