Our Next Lexical Gap – When Books No Longer Come Between Two Covers

Many books nowadays have movie posters as their front covers. But what if a book was a movie? What if you watched your book like a film? Does that still count as reading?

"Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" - a novelized version of the film

Writing and publishing are technologies. This means they evolve. Books are becoming electronic. From paper to screen. From pages to plug-ins. They are currently taking one of the largest quantum leaps since the invention of the printing press and the affordable codex.

Electronic-Books are amazing, but the most amazing stuff is yet to come. Soon, we will speak to our books. Interact with them. The books will mature and grow. They will feature lectures and live conferences with authors. Movable photos, video, sound, music, voices, and of course, words too. The sky is the limit. It’s hard to imagine how far the new electronic books can go.

But is this reading?
A lexical gap occurs when you have missing words in a language. Or an object that has no name, like the coffee stain ring left by a mug on a blue kitchen table.

The next lexical gap is the one describing the consumption of electronic books. We are not really going to read these multi-platform tomes. More like experience them. Submerse ourselves in them. But reading them sounds so old fashioned.

Electronic books in the future will answer our questions. We will simply ask the book, and it will search its knowledge and tell us what it finds.
That doesn’t sound like reading to me.
E-Books will be hyper-connected by the internet. They will talk to one another. They will grow and expand as new things are discovered on their topics. They will keep us updated on these findings.
That doesn’t sound like reading to me.
E-books may laugh at our jokes. They may even take our pictures and make us characters in their videos.

Our books can even be our friends on social media sites.
That still doesn’t sound like reading to me.
Get to work lexicographers and word creators. You have a task at hand. We need a new verb for a totally new way to read and consume books.

And make it fast. The future isn’t slowing down for anything, especially lack of foresight.


About Blog Boss

Jim MacKenzie and Sarah Giavedoni are the creators of the blogs Stuff Monsters Like, the Incredible Vanishing Paperweight, and more. When they are not blogging, they are devoted to managing the Asheville Blogger Society, watching movies, running a completely unrelated nonprofit, and making money at their paid employment.
This entry was posted in Language and Communication, Relationship to Books and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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