What is it about paper and books? We have the technology to wipe out what looks to be on the surface an outmoded way of reading books. And yet, like cockroaches in a literary apocalypse, paper books will be there, ironically, after the fire.
Is it the resistance of paper, the scratching, the push and pull against millions of crisscrossing fibres mashed out of a tree? Maybe. Is it because its just a lot nicer of an experience knowing where you’re at physically in a book and knowing when you’ll finish? For sure. But one of the big things about paper, especially when you’re in the business of building software, is that it always works. Paper doesn’t crash. It doesn’t require a battery or a plug. It doesn’t beep and blip at you begging for an upgrade.
I’ve been thinking a lot about reading. This is what you do if you’ve got a small book platform. I’ve been thinking of how digital books can not only be as good as paper but work with it. This is especially the case when we have all sorts of reports of a slowdown in eReader sales and an uptick in paper book sales.
The actual point of building Bastion is to get people reading in their fractured, daily lives today. So take the best of both book worlds. Digital books are easy to add, edit and delete from, and paper books are nicer to hold. What is in between? How do books approach interaction and even games on a broader scale? What if you can unlock things between paper and digital? How do you sync them? How big is the paper side of the story? Pocket-size or something you put on a wall?
This is where Bastion is hopefully headed, towards a world of reading that fits nicely not only into the time of your life but also into the physical space of your life.