E-book pioneer sees future of reading as a shared activity


In 1992, virtual eons before the Kindle and the iPad, Bob Stein created software that let a reader flip through an electronic book on a laptop computer.
To demonstrate the program at conferences, Stein would lie down on stage as if reading in bed.
“Publishers would see this and they would think it was cute, but they didn’t think it had anything to do with them,” he recalls.
Now that the revolution is here, Stein says publishers should embrace what he sees as the inevitable result: the evolution of reading from a solitary pursuit into a communal, electronically networked activity – something he calls social reading and writing.