Virtual Book or Digital Codex? The New Pretenders

The book is wrought by an ideal of portability that digital technology now promises to carry to a peak, thanks to its fabulous memory capacity and the ubiquity of the web; moreover, automatic indexation responds to an ancient dream of the reader, to obtain an instantaneous response to his questions. Formerly inconvenient, reading on-screen is already becoming easier with the adoption of textual templates that imitate a codex, as in the Glassbook Reader. The electronic book, with its light, portable screen, further contributes to reducing the differences to paper. However, it is electronic ink that must come in order to complete the metamorphosis of the codex in continuity with its history, on the condition that it puts in place an adequate economic model.