Presentation Nov 2010


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Presentation on the Future of the Book,
The Amplified Author and the Local Unlibrary
by Chris Meade,
Director of if:book (London)
the think and do tank exploring the future of the book in the digital age

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  • This is a photo of a man asleep in a library
    I found it on flickr and it moved me.
    It sums up the dream space that books create.
    Ideas that take off in our heads, that become part of us�
    It sums up what I most value about books
  • What is if:book
  • I was brought up ‘bookish’ in the sixties
    I was good at English,
    But also hugely influenced by tv, comics, movies, pop music
    My games involved pretending to be James Bond and John Lennon
    My education pretended never to have heard of these people
    Real learning was in books.
    Before I went to university I worked in bookshops as a teenager and loved it – helping people find the next best book for them, learning to talk confidently about books I hadn’t read!
    In the recession of the 1980s I worked in community arts, and then for libraries where I ran a literature festival and set up a community publishing project called ‘Write Back’.
    We set up book groups, provided noticeboards for local writers to ‘publish; their poetry and stories on.
    We talked about creative reading and writing, libraries as a cultural breathing space, providing not just Information but Imagination Services
    Then I became Director of the Poetry Society.
    Many people found this a very intimidating institution, famed for who it had refused to recognize. We raised some money and set up the Poetry Caf�, so all kinds of people could come to poetry and� just have a coffee if they liked.
    We ran readings and residencies too out in the community –
    Poetry is a very multimedia form of writing. Poets survive in a webby way by giving readings and workshops,
    As Director of Booktrust we ran Bookstart giving books to babies,
    Introducing the value of the book habit to new readers – well, pre-readers.
    And babies really do love books. But it’s hard to keep them reading.
    Then I took an MA in Creative Writing and New Media
    I met Bob Stein, Director of the Institute for the Future of the Book
  • Where did it come from - my journey I grew up on a diet of telly,
    books and music,
    liked English
    wrote poetry - loved bookshops -
    libraries as Imagination Service
    for Creative Reading
    Ran the Poetry Society
    Booktrust > Bookstart
    Everybody Writes…
    THEN… Creative Writing
    & New Media
  • The digital revolution seemed to me a hugely positive thing
    It solved many of the problems we were trying to tackle:
    Access to literature for all
    The means to publish and distribute new voicesTo present poetry – text and performance together
    To make new kinds of literature
  • BUT I found others didn’t see it like that.
    Some saw me as a kind of traitor to the cause
    展hat about the look and feel of books??�
    Readers seemed to be in denial
    Pretending they lived in a book lined world whereas
    Actually we’ve all lived in a multiculture for decades
    Mixing tv, radio, books
    I asked my book friends:
    How many of them actually read in their front room during the evening?
    Don’t most of us read in bed to get to sleep, on journeys when there’s nothing else to do, on holiday to help us switch off.
    But aren’t books supposed to switch us on?
    Isn’t a book about more than its cover?
  • Reading a book on screen made me aware that
    A book is an experience that happens in my heart and my head
    Literature isn’t made of paper.
  • This year readers have got used to the Kindle and the Sony Reader
    They’ve realized that a novel is a novel is a novel.
    But now.. we’ve arrived at the iPad moment, and that’s a big change.
  • The book is back on the mainstage of our culture, in the midst of all the other forms we enjoy
    There’s an amazing opportunity to win new readers.
    Bookstart is great as a means to introduce children to libraries and the pleasure of bookshops and bookshelves – but wouldn’t it be fantastic to put great words on those devices everyone is looking at already?
    BUT we need to define what we value about books and literature without thinking in terms of pages glued together – because now books are another kind of digital ‘stuff’, alongside all the other stuff we can find online.
  • So what really is the value of a book? What does ‘bookness’ mean to you.
    What’s happening now is the reverse of the locking down of literature which happened all those centuries ago,
    , let’s go back to the history of the book.
    We need to shake off our assumptions, analyse our activites
    Look at what are habits, what are essentials.
    If:book has done a number of experiments in this area.
  • Songs of imagination & Digitisation used the work of William Blake to explore new ways to illuminate literature�.
    Blake was multimedia, published his work
  • My friend’s daughter Abi was thirteen, always in her room at night on the internet. Her parents were worried – what was she up to?
    It turned out she was writing fan fiction, stories about her favourite TV series, uploading them to a forum to be peer reviewed by around 50 readers each time, and read by thousands.
    She was part of a rolling writing workshop – without any parental or educational encouragement or even their knowledge.
    We are the couch potato generation, who plonk ourselves in front of TV and bury our heads in books – future generations read/write, interact, respond, remix. was a networked version of the nobel prize winner
    The 24 hour book was an experiment in collaborative writing
    Now we want to develop some new kinds of book places:
  • HOTBOOK aimed at schools – alarming that teachers aren’t addressing how our culture is changing.
  • Research by Booktrust at the pilot stage showed it was
    Very popular with lower ability children
    We had higher abilitiy pupils at the launch talking about how much they’d enjoyed it - less ‘fooled’ by the story
    WE think this is for ALL abilities -
    Daljit Nagra Sasha Hoare and Ellie and Jo
    A fantastic set of teacher’s notes with exciting and testing activites
    Around each ‘litch bit’…
  • Fictional Stimulus was inspired by reading groups; we published excerpts over the period of a month, beginning and ending with a live event.
  • The Unlibrarian and the Future of the Bookshop
    The problem with libraries used to be lack of books and
    Now we carry content with us
    Cultural institutions like galleries, theatres and bookshops
    Intimidated many who were fearful to walk through their portals
    Now we can access opera or pop, religion or porn, poetry or bockbluster
    Equally easily –
    We need to take our laptops to places where we can learn how best to use them
    to access what we want, places which inspire us to explore and learn
    We need compasses other than google to help us find our way to the best next book for us
    in our intellectual and emotional journey
    And we need to value what really matters about books.
    We also need to help creators make some money
  • It contains:
  • Presentation Nov 2010

    1. 1. if:bookChris Meade The Future of Reading The Amplified Author In The Unlibrary QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
    2. 2. > How is reading changing in a digital world? > How can digital technology boost the appeal of reading for reluctant readers? > How can we make the most of the digital technology we have in school to work creatively in English? > What free packages and software are out there for us to use? > What is the future for reading and writing?
    3. 3. “if all the sky was paper and all the sea was ink” the word set free
    4. 4. If:book london, A think and do tank exploring the future of the book as our culture moves from printed page to networked screen and the potential of new media for creative readers and writers linked to The Institute for the Future of the Book New York, Founded by Bob Stein
    5. 5. A Life In Books bookshops libraries poetry society booktrust… - but tv, film, web & music too
    6. 6. Community Arts > Write Back >Opening the Book CREATIVE READING & WRITING > IMAGINATION SERVICES Reader Development > Poetry Society > Poetry Places > Booktrust > Bookstart > Everybody Writes…
    7. 7. digital solves the problems… > access for all > a means to publish and distribute new voices freely > text and performance together > creative reading for real
    8. 8. booklovers have been in denial books have already been sent up to bed we’re all transliterate now… even my mum
    9. 9. the book: an experience not an object literature isn’t made of paper books happen in our heads and hearts the object is a souvenir of our visit
    10. 10. why have we all spent so much time promoting the page when it’s WORDS we love ?
    11. 11. the iPad moment
    12. 12. literature on the mainstage in the places where people are looking
    13. 13. How do we define a book if it’s not made of paper?
    14. 14. what is a book? a constantly changing form - from papyrus to codex to paperback to kindle to macbook and beyond
    15. 15. a symbol of freedom a container of culture a conversation a bounded entity… And now we can make new kinds what is a book?
    16. 16. illuminations
    17. 17. imagination & digitisation “Blake was always using new technologies, often abusing technologies, not for the sake of an interest in the technology per se, but what he could use it for. He believed that, rather like learning a language… if you speak a different language maybe you ask different questions. And the language of the digital age is one that Blake would have pursued.”
    18. 18. digital expectations • to read and write • to click through for more • to collaborate with others • to mix media • to reply • to replay
    19. 19. talking moving picture books for children and adults stories for grey times • PHICTIVE.COM stories on the move the lowdown? the future of the app. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Story games QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. perplexcity..the winter house.. alice re-animated… In Search of Lost Tim A magical, musical, graphical, digital fiction
    20. 20. Enhanced & Illuminated Collaborative fan fiction 24 hr book Multiplatform ARG games creative reading and writing QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
    21. 21. book things QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. www. book futures .com
    22. 22. Found How to be Twelve
    23. 23.
    24. 24.
    25. 25. the research 96% of ‘lower ability’ students found it more interesting than standard approaches 86% of all students recommended it to other schools Strong impact on Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills “The normal way we read can be boring. However this was interactive and made my learning enjoyable.”
    26. 26. but… not just a cunning trick to con non-readers into looking at books
    27. 27. CPD Helping teachers to‘get it’ training technical skills finding the tools developing the digital imagination
    28. 28. communities book groups turned books into experiences that take a month and end in a meal a digital reading experience curation
    29. 29. How Power Corrupts by Ricardo Blaug, Westminster University Academic publisher, price £50, sales 390 Curated conversation online and at the Free Word Centre Between formal education and ‘just reading’
    30. 30. Developing multi-lingual books for iPads Research their use in London schools
    31. 31. young poets’ network if:book and the Poetry Society producing: Toolkit of digital resources, articles, videos, commissioned poems Helping young poets (13 - 18yrs) to set targets for their personal ‘poetic licence’ Finding the readership, criticism, writing, performance and all kinds of publishing skills they need to develop their poetry
    32. 32. local writers • can publish to the world from home • can use networks to find each other, near and far • can ‘click’ and find out more
    33. 33. amplified author in a room with a view broadcasting words in conversation publishing, self publishing, twitter, blogs, social media local and global needing recognition, criticism, readership, income in control of their writing life
    34. 34. join the unlibrary new kinds of spaces for bookiness imagination service for the writer/readers of transliterature focal point for writers and readers safe place to ‘click’ on people shared dream space in networked recession
    35. 35. in the unlibrary > Personal profiles on the shelves > Wall of messages, notes, images, thoughts…  Meet up online  and for real
    36. 36.
    37. 37. Cartoon by Toni Le Busque