The Academic ‘Book’ of the Future and Its Function

  • Frances Pinter


Ripping off the physical covers of the ‘book’ and moving swiftly into the digital realm immediately raises a number of issues around form, substance, supply chains, delivery platforms, discoverability and business models. Heated ideological, philosophical, pedagogical, and political debates leave people either exhilarated or exhausted. The meaning of the word ‘book’ itself will never again be confined to that of a physical object to be held, admired, loved, subject to spilt coffee, or burning by dictators. The ‘book’ will be defined more around its function than any of its other characteristics. This chapter discusses some of the factors that need to be understood when pondering the new function of the ‘book’.


book delivery devices book intermediaries book of the future book supply chain future of the book knowledge infrastructures monographs publishing scholarly academic books 


  1. 1.
    Christine Borgman (2015) Big Data, Little Data, No Data ( Boston: MIT Press ), p. 33.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Peter Costanzo (23 May 2014) ‘The Real Reason Enhanced Ebooks Haven’t Taken Off (Or, Evan Schnittman Was Right … for the Most Part)’, Digital Book World,, accessed 15 August 2015.Google Scholar

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© Frances Pinter 2016

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  • Frances Pinter

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