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Copia At CES 2011: Making Reading Social

Jan 3 2011, 6:39pm CST | by , in News | CES

Copia At CES 2011: Making Reading Social
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Or killing it entirely. You decide.

People seem to be of the errant belief that reading is one of those hobbies that doesn't change much over time. In reality, the very nature of what we consider literature changes and morphs every generation. Read any of George Orwell's literary critiques and you'll come across exhaustive discussion of Father Time's impact on the Novel.

Copia seems to think they have the next stage in the Evolution of Books. All they really have is a nifty-looking e-reader app with integrated social functionality. But, while Copia isn't world-changing, it does look cool enough to draw eyeballs at CES 2011.

The big selling point for this app is social integration. You'll be able to comment and make notes on whatever you read, and then share those notes through a variety of social media sites. You can also read notes other people have made. Boom- all the advantages of a book club, with none of the disadvantages of spending time around people.

Copia also allows you to open multiple books at once on a variety of machines. People who like to read through multiple titles at once will appreciate that. Sometimes you aren't in the mood for French anarchist philosophy and just want to browse through a few raunchy plays.

My only issue with this sort of app is the inevitable impact it will have on our ability to actually read books. Social media is the quickest path to distraction. How much attention can you really pay to reading when you're chatting about reading? Or getting into a flame-war in the notes section over someone who feels differently about Hemingway than you do? All I know is, I can't focus on a novel with Facebook and Gchat open and nearby.

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