Choose Your Own Footnotes

In the spirit of today’s internet culture, which values collaboration and information sharing, Ashley Merryman and Po Bronson are conducting an experiment in which their new book, NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children will be inviting readers to supply the book’s footnotes. Three chapters of the book will be posted on and, and readers will be asked to highlight portions of the text to add their own footnotes.

Publishers are taking note of the ability for a system like this to build a community around books. Alison Flood writes in the Guardian:

Enhanced ebooks will almost certainly be the way forward, and as the quality of ereaders improves, there will be a multitude of ways in which we can do this," added Hodder & Stoughton's Isobel Akenhead, pointing to "director's cut" editions of books – with commentary from the author about why and how the text might have changed, as well as user commentaries, which she said would work particularly well for reference books such as recipe books.

Slowly but surely, the print world is catching up to the hypertext community, and this article serves to show that the print publishers may finally (again!) be jumping aboard.