|2D digital bookshelf|
Digital media give us the freedom to explore new ways to display books. Google engineers created the 3D "Infinite Bookshelf". It is a compromise between a traditional bookshelf view while accommodating large amounts of books (One effect of switching from physical books to eBooks is that one can store a much larger collection of books than one would ever own in physical form). The "Infinite Bookshelf" is an infinite 3D helix that you can spin side-to-side and up and down with your mouse. It holds 3D models of more than 10,000 titles from Google Books.
|Google 3D Infinite Bookshelf|
This short video explains the functionality of the bookshelf.
Without physical bookshelves, there is no more shelf-snooping when you visit somebodies home or office. The books we have on display show our intellectual heritage and interests. Discovering that a new acquaintance read the same book is a great start for a conversation. But how can that happen if all our books are stored electronically? Do we give a new acquaintance acces to our shelfari, goodreads, or calibre accounts? Will we have wall-sized touch-screens displaying our digital libraries?
|Browsing Google's Infinite Bookshelf (at Google NY)|
While Google's Infinite Bookshelf is an interesting concept, I wonder why a digital 3D library couldn't look more like this:
|Clementinum National Library (Czech Republic)|
|Jedi Temple Library (aka Trinity College Library, Ireland)|
See more pictures of beautiful libraries here and here.