2010 has been interesting year in the life of e-books. The iPad has been unquestionably the most influential piece of hardware in this respect. Some may argue the case for the Kindle and of course the Nook. However, the iPad though not an eReader, has changed the playing field with what consumers expect. We wait with baited breath as to what 2011 brings. 
One other major issue concerning eBooks is that of standards. One of the main criticisms of the Kindle has been the lack of support for electronic publication (ePUB). ePUB is a free and open eBook standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Its (ePUB) files are recognized with the extension -. ePUB. EPUB is designed for “reflowable” content, meaning that the text display can be optimized for the particular display device used by the reader of ePUB-formatted book.

Without a doubt, the ePUB standard has gained widespread recognition and in many quarters the standard as to what electronic books should be made with. I must confess that I did believe that Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) would reign supreme. The PDF format is an open standard for document exchange. This format is used for representing two-dimensional documents in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating system. History though is littered with examples with formats living side – by – side with each other. Evidence of this is on the iPad where ePUB and PDF books sit side by side in the iBooks app.
I am sure that we can expect to see new forms of eBooks. One example that springs to mind is Vook. I actually bought the Vook book “Idea Virus ”by Seth Godin. This combined video, text, and of course iPad interactivity. While very interesting, I kept feeling the videos could be a bit more compelling. For those of who bought the Alice In Wonderland eBook for the iPad should give us some food for thought. It would be sacrilege to forget the HTML 5 Baker e-Book Framework by a group of Italian designers. Here is the link for the 5x15 Tokyo HTML 5 book: http://is.gd/jPwFj
Earlier in the year, it was a big shame that Plastic Logic killed the Que eReader, as well as the disappearance of the Skiff Reader after News Corp acquired them in July. We know that the iPad2 is coming and 2011 is bound to throw up some new surprises. Finally, let me leave you with a link that shows a nice slide show of different eReaders: http://is.gd/jPwXT
Enjoy, and have a happy and prosperous new year.

Piece by Olu Oyekanmi and can be followed on Twitter here: @oluoyekanmi

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