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With every new technological innovation in book publishing, we seem to be moving further and further from traditional hardcover books.

Print editions and audiobooks have spawned eBooks and Vooks with embedded video content. Apple announced it’s iPad a short time ago with the knowledge that it is not an eBook reader or a netbook.

Apple iPadIt is supposed to be everything rolled into one device. They also announced that they will be creating an iBookstore for downloadable book content to the iPad. With capabilities well beyond the Kindle, nook, or other eReaders, just how creative will publishers get to lure consumers to their iBooks?

Penguin Books is already preparing to present its newest innovation. Rather than provide the expected eBooks or audiobooks, they are presenting some content as apps. By doing this, each title will have interactive capabilities. This is very evident in their presentation on YouTube.

Books for kids and young adults will contain multiple interactive features, making it more of a game than a book. Other innovations, such as embedded 3D imaging within textbooks, online book discussion available from within a book, and travel books with usable GPS mapping will be available.

Magazines will also benefit from the iPad’s innovations. Wired magazine will be able to offer the strength of the graphic print version, with interactive components and videos that allow enhancement of each story. Dual access innovation allows overviews as well as the textual content. 360 image viewing means that some images will be able to be rotated to allow view from all sides.

I understand the temptation to make exciting books and book applications with built-in features, but I’m not sure whether it is truly beneficial on all fronts. Why would a child want to learn to read the words when there is a game just waiting? The interactivity, in my opinion, should feature read along imaging with audio support for figuring out the words. Maybe other offerings will take that into account.

As for textbooks, I do think eBook availability is a plus whether for Kindle, iPad, or other device. The ability to carry all of the necessary books on one device rather than lug several pounds of unwieldy textbooks just makes a lot of sense.

Integrating travel books with the GPS within the device is an interesting concept and I’m sure it will be useful to some users. The ability to facebook, Twitter, or interact with others about magazine or book content is also a feature that sounds interesting and fun.

Overall, I am looking forward to seeing how each publisher chooses to present content for the iPad device. Whether I will invest in one remains to be seen, but I am definitely keeping my eyes open.

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