When people ask me — don't you miss something when reading a book in digital? — my answer is yes!

I don't miss that scent and texture though.
That’s what paper books are for.

Paper books are still better in many ways than currently published ebooks. Computers and networks are still no challenge for the printing press.

I miss leaving a digital book open on the kitchen table. I miss borrowing a digital book with some curious marginalia. I miss sharing my notes on my blog. I miss meaningful organization of my books. I miss my books on many devices I own. I miss scanning their library when visiting a friend. I miss distinctive typography embracing book’s form. I miss owning my books and doing anything I want with them. I miss an ability to parse and analyze my books with any program. I miss my own curated reading profile that makes me smarter. I miss the ideals of early open web. I miss source viewing. I miss the mighty abilities of modern browsers. I miss reading extensions that help with a specific kind of text. I miss books written for the web. I miss the future that did not arrive yet.

next-book is a way of thinking about books on the web.

Next-book is a vision of tools, formats and affordances for reading, sharing and writing books.

Next-book does not assume any reading device, publishing process or business model. It assumes only the use of a modern web browser and tries to think about the book experience first, technology second and everything else only after that.

After 30 years of the World Wide Web we might be ready to make it good for serious reading.

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what's out there




  • nb-mapper — a tool that maps the text so that additional functionaly may work with its parts
  • nb-base – React+redux-based app that provides reading UI and additional functionality
  • nb-builder (2017) — a prototype builder that completes a book from source files (markdown, templates, dictionary etc.), currently being reworked into independent components (nb-mapper, browser scripts, etc.)


Josef Kocurek (design research)
Jan Martinek (design, development)
Matěj Málek (graphic design)
Lukáš Porsche (self-publishing, marketing)

Our goal is to become more diverse as soon as possible and sustainable by April 2020. We’re looking for new team members — if you like what we do, please get in touch with us!

Since Jan 2019, there’s an 18-month project led by Prague-based publisher Nová beseda and funded by Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. In it, Masaryk and Palacký Universities work together towards applied research goals in publishing, experimenting with the medium and transferring annotation affordances from print to digital academic reading.

Through Feb-Dec 2018, publishers from Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary joined forces in a project led by Prague-based publisher Nová beseda and funded by Visegrad Fund. Those teams created several prototypes presented at next-book.eu.

The original team back in 2017 were Ivana Lukeš Rybanská and Jan Martinek from Czech Republic.