One only had to read the first sentence in the “Deluxe Reading Group Edition” ebook of Paula McLain’s novel The Paris Wife, based on the love affair between Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley, to come across a striking example of the promise and pitfalls of electronic publishing.
“Though I often looked for one,” reads the opening sentence, “I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.” The last word appears in blue. Tapping the word with a finger, the reader is transported to a five-paragraph essay about Hemingway’s arrival in Paris and what the city was like at the time. Two pages (actually, two finger swipes) later, the words “cafés of Montparnasse” also appear in blue. Tapping here, one learns about the famed Paris neighborhood, along with how Hemingway included scenes from its iconic cafés in The Sun Also Rises.