Adjusting to Malleable Ebooks

EBOOKSI have been meaning to add this morsel for a few months now. The ability of ebooks to be changed frequently requires the reader to adopt a different philosophy when responding to the ebook contents, to be aware that they may not be reading the final version. Indeed, there may never be a final version at all. Imagine coming back to a fiction novel only to find the ending has changed, or finding extra chapters that draw different conclusions in a non-fiction work.

This never-ending property is discussed well by Nicolas Carr in his post ‘Books That Are Never Done Being Written’. It is well worth a read, even after all this time:

An e-book, I realized, is far different from an old-fashioned printed one. The words in the latter stay put. In the former, the words can keep changing, at the whim of the author or anyone else with access to the source file. The endless malleability of digital writing promises to overturn a whole lot of our assumptions about publishing.

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