Ever since Kay and Goldbergs vision of the Dynabook; a portable computer with long battery life, there has been a steady development of digital reading tablets. Some will claim that the speed of the development has been slow. When the iPad was launched, many thought that this could be a new era for the digital book: “[The iPad] has the potential to transform the experience of reading” (Roush 2011) because of its rich multimedia capabilities. To explore this transformational claim, I have studied a scope of different applications for the iOS. Although there are several different types of reading tablets on the market, the focus in this paper is on the iPad because it is still the best-selling tablet . What are special for the iPad in comparison to e.g. the Kindle are the multimedia possibilities. Applications have more room for experimenting with multimedia than a publication through EPUB 3.0 or similar formats, which are why the works of literature in this paper are applications, bought via iTunes Store and not e-books bought via e.g. iBooks.
Literature is defined as “writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays” by Dictionary.com (2013). An aspect important to any literary encounter is the experience of immersion into a world constructed by ideas and associations. My analysis of the literary applications shows that it is not the number of multimedia aspects used, that decides how immersed a reader becomes into the work – the importance is on how well integrated these aspects are into the overall idea of the story.
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