Lauren Leto

Oh Hell No

Posted in book porn by Lauren Leto on December 28, 2009

As books go beyond printed page to multisensory experience, what about reading? [WaPo via @traversj]

NO. No. I am not reading a VOOK. NO. In the name of everything holy to bookworms, OH HELL NO.

I don’t even know what to say. You are going to add video to books? I don’t want to watch a video while I’m TRYING TO READ.

Quote from article:

If you could see the authoritative version of a character right away, without waiting for the movie version, would you?

No! I like who I’m visualizing. I don’t like seeing books made into movies, because it messes with that. The article also posits the question of whether adding video to books changes the experience of reading. YES! I don’t read and think, “oh hey I wish I could see what this or that looks like” – I read and SEE. I don’t need help in that. And I don’t think fellow bookworms want that type of help, either.

Vook asks that you do not try and compare the books and vooks [don’t worry we won’t]:

We don’t pretend that it’s a book because it’s not.” With the Vook, “there’s an expectation that you’re not gulping the text,” as you would in a traditional novel. Instead, Inman says, “you’re tasting the text,” dipping in and out of it at will.

I think Vook should choke on their text.

I do see the usefulness in using “vooks” to engage people who would otherwise never pick up a book (as in people who are only reading for an English class). Let’s give those kids Twilight vooks.

The author of the article, Monica Hesse, wins my heart over by writing:

Reading has traditionally been one of imagination’s personal trainers, and while skipping from medium to medium might provide other benefits (catering to a variety of learning styles rather than just the visual reader’s), it might adversely affect the way we create our own worlds.

Oh thank God she’s agreeing with me. The article’s title gave me a massive heart attack. I freaked out about ebook sales this morning and now this? I couldn’t handle a world without traditional books.


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5 Responses

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  1. acardott said, on December 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I know. It’s like “why are we even discussing this?”
    But if they don’t put those little video screens in everything, they’ll have no use for them, which means that the people who’re getting rich off selling us computer parts won’t be able to rape and murder africans to get the materials anymore, and raping and killing africans for their minerals ever stops…
    Beyond that, remember that reading has since its creation been a subversive act, because it doesn’t require the compromise of conversation. Once they can control what goes in a book with that screen, reading can be rendered powerless.
    You can start by not letting your friends buy one. Read on!

  2. Matheus Lima said, on December 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    As a fellow bookworm, I couldn’t agree more. How are we going to enjoy a book if all the blank spaces left for our minds to fill are already full with other people’s interpretations? They won’t make us “taste” the books, they will feed us trough tubes. And won’t be able to feel a single taste of it.

  3. reamofpaper said, on December 29, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    On the plus side, Vooks will be very difficult to burn. So there is that…

  4. John_Austin said, on January 2, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Aside from the imagination killing aspects, it also seems to me that it promotes mental laziness. When I read and find a subject or even a word that is unfamiliar to me, I am inspired to go figure it out. (some of the best words my parents ever said to me were “look it up”) With this, there is no need for exploration- you just click the hyperlink!
    And, well… the cynic in me is wondering how long it will be before you have to watch a five second commercial before you can see the rest of the story… and how much the product placement rights are going to be…

  5. Jam said, on January 3, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Personally I find I never think more clearly than I do after reading. That might just be me but I don’t get that from listening or watching.

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