When people ask me don't you miss something when reading a book in digital? my answer is yes!
I don't miss that scent and texture though. That’s what paper books are for.
I miss leaving a digital book open on the kitchen table. I miss borrowing a digital book with some curious marginalia. I miss sharing my notes on my blog. I miss meaningful organization of my books. I miss my books on many devices I own. I miss scanning their library when visiting a friend. I miss distinctive typography embracing book’s form. I miss owning my books and doing anything I want with them. I miss an ability to parse and analyze my books with any program. I miss my own curated reading profile that makes me smarter. I miss the ideals of early open web. I miss source viewing. I miss the mighty abilities of modern browsers. I miss reading extensions that help with a specific kind of text. I miss books written for the web. I miss the future that did not arrive yet.
Paper books are still better in many ways than currently published ebooks. Computers and networks are still no challenge for the printing press.
Next-book is a way of thinking about books on the web.
Next-book is a vision of tools, formats and affordances for reading, sharing and writing books.
Next-book does not assume any reading device, publishing process or business model. It assumes only the use of a modern web browser and tries to think about the book experience first, technology second and everything else only after that.
After 30 years of the World Wide Web we might be ready to make it good for serious reading.
There's several people that work on next-book. The original team is Ivana Lukeš Rybanská and Jan Martinek from Czech Republic. Since February 2018, teams from Slovakia, Poland, Hungary are joining them in a project lead by Prague-based publishing house Nová beseda.
If you'd like to join the effort in any way, write an e-mail to Jan.