Google’s ‘Unprintable’ E-Books Are Stories With Which You Can Interact

Editions at Play
Editions at Play / Editions at Play

With the advent of electronic reading devices, writers and publishers are faced with the opportunity to tell stories that go beyond the limits of ink and paper. But for the most part, the formats of e-books haven’t strayed far from what we know. Now, Tech Times reports, Google is seeking to change that with a new line of books that would be impossible to print.

Editions at Play is a collaboration between Google Creative Lab Sydney and the innovative publishing house Visual Editions. After about two years in development, the publishing project released their first two installments this week: Entrances & Exits by Reif Larsen and The Truth About Cats & Dogs by Sam Riviere and Joe Dunthorne.

According to Fast.CoDesign, Entrances & Exits uses Google Maps to guide the reader on a "choose-your-own-adventure" of sorts. The book opens with a table of contents—all chapters are titled "Location Unknown"—and each link leads to a view of a door from Street View. Choosing to enter it transports you to the start of a new narrative in the story that takes place inside the home.

The second book is told from the perspective of two distinct narrators. Their accounts run parallel to one another, and according to Tech Times, readers have the freedom to choose when to switch back and forth between the two narratives. The total reading time for the book is estimated at 30 minutes, but that could vary greatly depending on each reader’s interactive experience.

Editions at Play

Both stories were a group effort on the part of the designers, programmers, editors, and authors, and similar e-books written in that style are expected to be released in April. You can purchase The Truth About Cats & Dogs and Entrance & Exits for your Android or iOS devices today.

[h/t Tech Times]