aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Considering Vooks and other attempts to make old-fashioned books more multimedia

The New York Times takes a look at Vooks and other ways of interacting with readers in an era of clicakable links. Some of these electronic books have imbedded videos, which makes sense for a book on how to do certain exercises, or other times when hearing or seeing would add life to a non-fiction explanation.

I'm not sure that watching a snippet of video adds to a novel.

But if it attracts new readers, then great. Because although one NYT commenter worried that people would no longer have the patience to read Henry James or George Eliot in the new world of Vooks and the like, I think the world where most adults had read James or Elliot is long vanished. I think back to my old office, which was filled with extremely intelligent people. I would bet that, unless they had read them in college, fewer than one in a hundred had read James or Elliot. Many of my colleagues read no more than two or three novels every year. And quite a few read no novels at all.

Here's what I thought about vooks, back in the dark ages of July.

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