We now have a flexible system of web access management that allows a publisher to select areas of a book which can be assessed and sampled in full view before a purchase. For example here are some full size pages from the Time Out City Guide to London.
From the book’s home page, there are some named links which allow the user to grasp the context of sample pages that might be of interest. Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia is a better handle in a city guide to London than pages 106-113.
So now we need a good methodology for encouraging publishers to name and open relevant parts of their books for sample access. The obvious solution, the one we have adopted, is probably the right one: Chapter 1, or Chapter 1’s title, Bibliography or Table of Illustrations etc…. Is there a way of extending this nomenclature to readers and users? Is a vocabulary for chunked reference in books something that they will want? When every print page is a web page its a simple enough matter to provide names to groups of pages. Will each web-published book aquire its own patina of user-generated tags in the way that Flickr and Del.icio.us now have clouds of very helpful handles? Its an intriguing possibility, especially sine the handles would be used by other programs and resources.
Henry Reed’s Naming of Parts
To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts……