Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New eBook craze ... Digital Add-ons ... What Could Possibly Be Next?

Ebooks ... some might say, "Isn't that enough technology in the reading world?" Well ... I guess not. I have to admit I'm rather excited about this new trend. And I imagine it will attract a whole new category of readers -- those who would rather watch than read the written word. Sigh, groan, sigh somemore.  I myself would like readers who truly enjoy reading, but an occasional visual might add to the experience.

Okay, getting right to it. The latest technology is to embed videos in the eBooks where ever they might fit. I am linking to an article that might explain it better. It even gives you an example of a book -- Nixonland put out by Simon & Schuster. Since it's an historical book, it places video clips on such topics/people as John F. Kennedy, news clips of demonstrators against war, etc. Really, it is very fascinating to watch.

The author of the article on this trend brings up a valid point -- visualizing or imaging through words is what drives the imagination and makes each reader's experience a personal one. As a teacher, I agree totally that to take away from this skill and experience by replacing words with videos may diminish the skill. We already do that enough with the technology and media at everyone's, especially young people's, fingertips. In other words, walking a fine-line and not overusing this technology should be the guideline for authors and publishers. At least, that's what I hope for. From an author's viewpoint, I truly am infatuated by the idea. I can see embedding videos in my books, only to supplement the stories, not to replace the details. Again, limiting the numbers is key. I think I would most like to embed a video of me in each of them, talking about how I came up with the idea for writing them, etc.

So much is changing in the digital world. It's scary and exciting at the same time. Who knows where we will be five years from now? (A memory of when I first saw the hollistic chess game in Star Wars comes to mind. I thought that was the greatest invention ever!) I wish I had that crystal ball. Anyway, here is the link to the article on video-enhanced eBooks. Let me know what you think.

Video-enhanced E-books Beginning to Gain Momentum

Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes
Not So Snow White

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