What Does ePub 3 Mean For Readers?

What Does ePub 3 Mean For Readers?

Joelle Alcaidinho
May 23, 2011

Being a site that loves the tech it is no surprise that we are big fans of eBooks. However, as early adopters to eReading devices we are definitely aware of areas in which we want to see the medium improve. With tablets becoming more and more popular, digital readers are demanding more from their eReading experience. We're scoping out what is coming next in digital publishing at this year's Book Expo America in NYC this week and in our first dispatch from the show, the spotlight is on ePub 3.

Today the International Digital Publishing Forum, IDPF (who have quite a few sessions we will be attending at Book Expo America that we'll be attending) have released the specifications for ePub 3. The IDPF develops and maintains the ePub standard format for reflowable digital books and other digital publications that are interoperable between disparate reading devices like the Nook and iPad, and applications like Adobe Digital Editions.

ePub 3 brings more complex layouts, rich media and interactivity, and global typography features to the ePub format which means good things for design nerds like us. One of the biggest drawbacks that we have felt to reading a digital book (non-fixed layout or enhanced) is the lack of a gorgeous visual experience. For instance when it comes to typography, every book we open in iBooks or on our Kindle has the same font unless we specify otherwise and we are only given a handful of choices. Out of these choices we don't know which one the author would have preferred to enhance the reading experience and we do feel like we're missing out on the complete package of the book.

We're a group of geeks who when we read a book think about things like the typography and paper choice alongside the content and we are looking forward to getting some of that experience back with ePub 3. We're also excited about where interactive books are headed especially in regards to books for our young friends.

What are your thoughts about ePub 3 and the future of eBooks?

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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