Through the iPad glass and what Alice found there

Here is a very interesting development that can bring exciting changes to how we read – or should I say « use »? – books. This semi-interactive iPad version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland shows how the book can be « experienced » rather than only read, by combining touchscreen technology, animation and a story, becoming altogether something else than « just a book ». This opens new possibilities, not only for children books, but so many other kinds of books: think of academical literature, travel guides, cook books and so on. This particular version looks well-done and very much in the spirit of the original, Lewis Caroll’s Alice rather than its pale Disney clones. It is curious to see that in this e-book the makers used the first printed illustrations of Alice by John Tenniel that appeared in the book’s first edition in 1865. It is also interesting to see that not only touch is involved in making the book interactive, but all the physical possibilities of an iPad, such as shaking, turning, rotating and so on. (This video demonstration is somewhat of a roller coaster ride.)

Alice was my favorite book when I was growing up and I must have read it at least fifteen times. As as story it is extremely language-driven, full of wordplay and word-nonsense. That makes me wonder if the much more visual experience of the book will affect the reader differently than it affected me, who had just the text and my own imagination going wild.

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