Vould You Read a Vook?

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27 April 2009

I feel a little bit about the Vook — a kind of multimedia “reading” experience — as I do about the worst fusion cooking.  Not that excited.  Read about it here.

Many of you may remember Choose Your Own Adventure.  I loved those books.  (The Mystery of Chimney Rock was my all-time favorite.) I loved Mad Libs, too.  But the thing is, those are for children.  They calibrate a child’s attention span, they give the child-reader something to do to keep her engaged.

Is the adult reader the new child reader?  Do we all need multimedia “interactivity” to keep our minds imaginatively and intellectually engaged?  

I think there’s value in fighting for attention span, the ability to sustain focus and immerse oneself deeply in words.  Words only.  No flashing pictures or actor dramatizations.  No reader “collaboration” or real-time commentary.  

A movie is different from a book.  I swear it is.  I love movies.  I love books. One gives me the aural-visual experience, one allows me to imagine the world on my own.   Please don’t take these richly rewarding experiences away from me.  (We all know what happens when you see the bad movie version of a book; it inevitably ruins any chance of a (subsequent) satisfying, unadulterated read.)  

Or if you’re going to insist on making these things in the name of innovation (and economics), at least call it a boovie.

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