Thursday, June 16, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Interactivity

Wow, this week's BTT topic is actually quite a complicated one:
With the advent (and growing popularity) of eBooks, I’m seeing more and more articles about how much “better” they can be, because they have the option to be interactive … videos, music, glossaries … all sorts of little extra goodies to help “enhance” your reading experience, rather like listening to the Director’s commentary on a DVD of your favorite movie.

How do you feel about that possibility? Does it excite you in a cutting-edge kind of way? Or does it chill you to the bone because that’s not what reading is ABOUT?
But my answer is pretty simple. Assuming we're talking about reading for pleasure, I really prefer my reading to be non-interactive. Or, if it's going to be interactive, I want to choose my own form of interactivity. I'm a little dubious about having my reading experience "enhanced" according to someone else's tastes or ideas.

I'm not opposed to e-books and e-readers; in fact, I've read several books online or on my iPad. But when I'm e-reading, I like the experience to be as near to "real" reading as possible. Yes, I am a bookaholic, and love the look, smell and just general aura of real, physical books. Also, when I'm reading, I like to lose myself in the narrative and concentrate on the writing; I don't want videos, embedded music, sound effects, advertising, or author interviews intruding.

And since I'm also a VOB (very old broad), and I've had a lifetime of getting used to my bookish habits, I don't think my opinion is likely to change anytime soon -- I don't have anything against all the new electronic reading gadgetry; but for me, it's always going to be something extra. An interesting (and even attractive) something extra, but definitely not my main choice (as long as I have a choice). And when I do choose to e-read, I don't want a lot of bells and whistles distracting me.

Oh, and I don't usually watch or listen to directors' commentaries, either. I just wanta watch the movie.


  1. LOL -- VOB -- I like that. Yeah, I am with you. I do like the e-reader for reasons that I have already discussed but I buy more tangible books than virtual books -- and I still like real book covers. I did buy one of the new Nook's because it is lighter, longer battery life and NO bells and whistles -- none, zip, nada. It is better that way.

  2. I'm a VOB also, and I love my books. I don't have an eReader yet, and don't really see one in my immediate future.

  3. Hahaha VOB. I'm a VOB in a YB's body. ;O)

  4. I love VOB!! I downloaded an interactive book for our iPad because it was free and have to tell you I was not impressed.


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