I realize its anathema to some, but one of the things I miss most about the transition from print to digital books is the ability to write on the pages. Oh sure, I can justify my notes and marginalia as being full of intelligent insights. But I think it all stems back from a love of coloring books and from adding my own creative and colorful commentary to printed pages. There's also a lot of pleasure in that sort of mark-up: coloring in pictures, doodling in the margins, scribbling on pages.
And now, Google's gone and done it. With a select group of its e-books, you'll find you can turn on Doodle Mode. This lets you take a "virtual crayon" to the virtual pages.
You can color, draw, connect the dots, underline.
No surprise, Doodle Mode will be available for a children's line of books, "The Everything Kids" series. If you buy these and open them via the Google Books Web Reader, you'll have access to the power of digital scribbling.
The series include titles like The Everything Kids' Connect Dots Puzzle and Activity Book, The Everything Kids' Mazes Book, and The Everything Kids' Hidden Pictures Book. These titles cost around $6 apiece.
Books that are enabled for Doodle Bode will have the option on a menu in the upper-right hand corner.
The doodles aren't saved, and so each time you open a page in a browser, you'll have a clean slate to work from. Be sure to take a screenshot of your work.
But the impermanence of the doodles is good news. There are few things as annoying as opening up a maze book to find someone has traced all the paths or opening a coloring book to find all the good pictures have been taken. So here's another reason why digital books may just be better than print.
Now, let's have this sort of capability expand in more books, please.