THE BASIC IDEA
We’re still figuring this out. Books — the real kind, on thin sheets of pulped wood — are pretty useful devices for storing and presenting text in an elegant package, not to mention the several hundred years of powerful cultural associations. Books can do things that no screen is yet close to accomplishing, and we have no desire to leave those behind.
That said, e-books have advantages of their own — not just convenience and economics, but also (if done right) design and even narrative possibilities. We’re just beginning to get the hang of this, but this app seems like a good opportunity to share some of our early attempts — fairly straightforward for now, but they’ll become more ambitious in the months and years to come.
Overall, we are guided by a handful of principles: in a world dominated by screens, physical books can be more powerful than ever; e-books do not need to be depressing or ugly; every form has inherent possibilities and limitations, and content should be aware of its context. That last bit has a snappy ring to it, huh?
THE CURRENT SELECTIONTouch Sensitive
By Chris Ware*
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
By Dave Eggers
A Moment in the Sun**
By John Sayles
By Adam Levin
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
By Michael Chabon
By John Brandon
Half a Life
By Darin Strauss
I Live Real Close to Where You Used to Live
Kid’s Letters to Michelle Obama
By Chris Adrian, Chris Bachelder, Anthony Doerr, Sesshu Foster, Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Salvador Plascencia, Jim Shepard, J. Erin Sweeney, and Wells Tower
*Exclusive iPad-only comic strip
**Special super-cheap early-bird e-book starter kit
For more information, see the e-books section of the FAQ.