Have you come across the On the Road ebook yet? Apparently it comes with additional data like maps, audio files, commentary etc. You can read more about it at the Los Angleles Times here. I haven't downloaded it and I am not sure that I will. But I think the possibilities are exciting. I love books as tangible objects, but imagine being in school and the book you have to read comes not only with additional notes, but commentary, audio files, interviews, interactive maps etc. Surely it would make the book more accessible in some ways, allowing students to get more from it. Or am I idealising things?
It wouldn't just be for students of course; I remember the first time I read On the Road, and I have to admit my American geography is not that great (and despite having been there now, it still isn't). An interactive map would have helped me a lot, following Kerouac on his adventure - especially as I have not idea about miles (we have kilometers here people!) and so I never knew how far he had traveled, or walked, or hitched.
Anyway, I've got to run to the library now but if you get a chance this weekend check out the Queensland Poetry Festival website as Wednesday was the launch of the 2011 Program at Riverbend books. It was a great night on the deck at Riverbend and the QPF program looks exciting!