The digital spine: A book is not an interface

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


In the words of the Oxford English Dictionary, a book is 'a portable volume consisting of a series of written, printed, or illustrated pages bound together for ease of reading' (‘book, n.’nd). Yet, the world of books isn’t what it used to be. If differences between media are material differences (Seiter 2015), and books are produced, distributed and read on various digital media and devices, it is no longer possible to understand digital books on the basis of the material and syntactical features of the codex artifact. It then becomes important to discuss how to conceptualize and subsequently analyze books as digital or even 'post-digital' artifacts (Cramer 2014), while preserving the material dimension of the book artifact. In other words: is there is such a thing as a (post-)digital spine, and how can it be described? This article outlines an answer to this question within an inferential and performative framework, inspired the design semiotics of Giampaolo Proni ( 2002), and performative conditional document theory (Drucker 2014). The Amazon Kindle, the epub file format and the Calibre conversion and file management software are used as examples.
TidsskriftBook 2.0
StatusUnder udarbejdelse - 2019


  • EBM
  • Digitale medier
  • Boghistorie
  • designanalyse
  • Digital litteratur


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