For more than 500 years the book has been a remarkably stable entity: a coherent string of connected words, printed on paper and bound between covers. But in the age of the iPhone, Kindle, and YouTube, the notion of the book is becoming increasingly elastic as publishers mash together text, video, and web features in a scramble to keep readers interested in an archaic form of entertainment, reports the New York Times. On Oct. 1, for instance, Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King, is working with a multimedia partner to release four "vooks," which intersperse...

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