Born in a world before smartphones and tablets, the Books in Browsers conference was once aptly named, as it concentrated on reading online. In 2016, of course, digital reading is about much more than books and browsers.
After a one-year hiatus that allowed organizers to rethink the focus, the two-day conference returned last week to San Francisco. Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, attended, and he came away excited about the possibilities for storytelling.
“I concede the books-and-browsers stuff can seem very tangential to books, and publishing. But over those two days, I have to say, it was like a palate cleanser in terms of understanding how humans are using new tools to express our most innate trait—which is telling storytelling.
“And for nearly every presenter, books, and reading, clearly remained at the core,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “The message I take away is that reading will always exist because, frankly, it is the easiest way to communicate a story—words on page, outside of maybe conversation, of course. But as more and more powerful tools and platforms become available, how people choose to tell stories will change, and whether through books, or any other media, it’s all connected.
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.