Thursday, June 16, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Interactive?

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. Today’s great question is:

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?

Personally, I love my Kindle. Like, I’m almost in love with it. But that’s because I can get books I want in less than three seconds without having to go anywhere. It’s immediate gratification and I’m okay with that. Also, it’s nice to buy things without cluttering up my house or bookshelves; it actually feels kind of “green” in that way. Like I opted not to take a plastic bag with my purchase. Kindle

That said, I have zero interest in any interactive features. That sounds to me like it’s for people who don’t like the idea of e-readers because they prefer paper books (as if we need to show them that e-readers can do other cool things too, besides you know, hold 3,500 books at a time) or people who just don’t like reading at all. Reading is fun! If we need to tack shiny new toys on to books to get people excited about reading, I think we’re in trouble. Reading to me, is about getting lost in another world and relaxing. There’s no need for flashy features to go along with books to “enhance” reading. I can tell you what enhances reading: my imagination.

There are all kinds of things that already exist that you can participate in. Like video games or social media. I say leave books alone and let those who don’t enjoy them do something else.


Anonymous said…

I was just randomly clicking on comments from Booking Through Thursday ( and your entry wonderfully illustrates exactly how I feel about e-readers and interactive features. Keep up the great work with your blog!

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