Old Books with New Tricks

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The Wasteland, complete with new apps for the contemporary reader, replaced a Marvel comic as an iPad top seller recently. This week, On the Road shuffles its way onto the same list-also with a shiny new set of apps. Interactive maps, footnotes, photos, even audio clips of Keroauc reading and sets of documents never before released by his publisher. Whoa.

While this may not leave as much to the imagination as generations of wanderlusting fans previously enjoyed, maybe the iPad version will stir up greater interest with newer readers. It’s also destined to stir up new relevance for long time devotees by providing new content with which to delve back into a timeless saga.


Emmy Komada is a translator and assistant editor at Two Lines Press, part of the Center for the Art of Translation. She likes languages, and reading, and trying to read in various languages. More from this author →