What is a Book? – Part 3

Craig Mod has a great piece on the future of publishing.

As a book designer, he draws the line between formless content and definite content.

Formless Content can be reflowed into different formats and not lose any intrinsic meaning. It’s content divorced from layout. Most novels and works of non-fiction are Formless.


Content with form — Definite Content — is almost totally the opposite of Formless Content. Most texts composed with images, charts, graphs or poetry fall under this umbrella. It may be reflowable, but depending on how it’s reflowed, inherent meaning and quality of the text may shift.

Mod believes formless content was the only real choice in the digital realm prior to the iPad, but now there is the possibility that definite content can be reproduced with its original intent.

He goes on to say that the page turning metaphor is weak and that content creation and navigation will be re-imagined over time.

The comments are worthy of your time as well, with some filtering needed between thoughtful and dystopian.

P.S. Click through and see the beautiful layout and graphics that Mod provides to make his case.

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