The result of his sabbatical labors has just gone live. Called Open Utopia, it's a free, online version of Thomas More's Utopia that anyone can browse—and annotate. An example of what's sometimes called social reading, Open Utopia builds on the idea that a book doesn't have to be a static text. Online, a book can be a gathering place, a shared space where readers record their reactions and conversations. Those interactions ultimately become part of the book too, a kind of amplified marginalia.
"We live in a world where people can talk back to their books," Mr. Duncombe told me.
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