In a corporate or bureaucratic organization, is it possible and desirable to switch from paper documents to digital documents, in order to achieve a paperless office?
Folders, plastic bags, binders and efolders are used to gather and store hard-copy documents. Paper is heavy, bulky and polluting.
A book is a more advanced technological tool. Based on the principle of the wheel, the back acts as a pivot and the pages rotate allowing random access to content, facilitated by elements that are para-textual (index, page numbers, chapters).
Reading on a monitor is generally more strenuous than reading on paper, but monitors have become larger and larger in recent times, more stable and sharper, and the spread of touch screens and mobile devices has greatly enhanced digital reading, to the point that today many digital texts, as for example newspapers, are easier to read on a tablet rather than on paper. Digital media is compact, inexpensive, easily updated andeasy to share. Moving to digital media is therefore positive, as is the use of the hard-copy format only when it is not possible to do without it. The transition from paper to digital media requires a strategy, methods, skills and investment.
Tablets and e-readers have made reading easier just like a book. It was therefore possible to develop electronic books, called eBooks, which are sometimes the transposition of hard-copy books, and in other circumstances they are standalone products. Pdf format eBooks are easy to read on a tablet, while those in ePub format are easy to read on eReaders, compared to tablets that are readable even in bright sunlight.
As happened in regard to the first automobiles, which were shaped like carriages, even the eBook is still closely tied to the printed book, with chapters, pages and footnotes. We cannot even imagine what will be possible in the future, but it is certain that ebooks will be replaced by a multimedia, interactive and multi-modal product, which will not even be a closed text, but an information cluster intertwined with other clusters, a guardian angel that will listen to us, advise us, put us in contact with all our extra-mental knowledge. Or it will become information embedded in locations, products, functions, as already happens with augmented reality. This topic was covered posterLab no. 4: “from the creation of eBooks to the management of editorial collections” Umberto Santucci www.umbertosantucci.it