Ring the bells, sing a song, jump for joy, all you lovers of the civilized mind: The long-form fictional format (e.g. the novel) is alive and well.
And residing in an iPhone.
My older son, the gadget-lover and recent college graduate (go Red Foxes!) got his iPhone 4 the other day. A cool gadget in lots of ways, but by Day 3 what was the app Tom liked best?
iBooks. He had downloaded a whole slew of public-domain titles, include most of Arthur Conan Doyle.
And by evening he was engrossed in (gasp!) A BOOK. A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes mystery. Tom is planning to read all of Conan Doyle from beginning to end. And he was following me around the house, reading me his favorite passages. Commenting on how readable a 123-year-old story is. How much he's enjoying it.
This is a kid who's never had anything against reading, but tended to save it for when all the electronic alternatives have been removed or lost their battery power.
So is this the secret? Put the pages on the electronic gadget?
Fear not, book lovers! The book is not dead. It's just becoming pixillated.