Lit/Tech: Refocusing book signings in an e-reader world

Books aren’t going anywhere, at least not any time soon. However, as technologies rise to deliver literature in many ways, and as we expand our libraries to include e-reader devices and mobile apps, I wonder what the future holds for book signings.

Maybe we’ll adopt the screen-and-stylus method used by package-delivery drivers. Perhaps the simple autograph book is due for a comeback — not that a paper book is the answer in digital times. Or, maybe autograph collecting will develop into something akin to the iPhone’s bump app, allowing users to trade info with the mere bump of their iPhones?

But, then, it’s not really about the autograph. It’s about meeting an author, so shifting the format for author events book signings could be for the best.

There is joy in the moment between reader and author, in the author’s touch on the book and  the signature that remains on the page. But future events may be less about autographs, and more about meeting and discussing. More about going beyond just a moment. To refocus author events would mean they’d would become less like getting a passport stamped and more like a community-building discussion.

Filed under: new v. old media

Tags: authors, books

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