Great new feature on the new Kindles allows you to follow thinking in a book well beyond the boundaries of the book itself. A sort of algorithmically guessed set of mini-internet searches that you might want to do. I already love having a dictionary built in to look up words immediately, so this sounds right up my street. (It’s quite a lot like the ideas in Ted Nelson’s hypermedia all those years ago).

However, a lot of people don’t like the idea and are concerned that it will kill off the book. “Sparkling clouds of snippets” (Updike) have their place, but the concentrated imagination and effort that goes into a novel is still a marvelous and worthy thing worth spending quality time with.

The other entertaining question (not mine, but I can’t find the source) is whether Amazon has asked authors if they want this done to their books. It’s a bit like including a reading guide with a hard copy book. Would authors like that?