I really fought letting go of the old typewriter to embrace the computer. I fought the idea of reading books on e readers, and it’s no longer just an idea that you can have music, or multi media in a book… it’s here. Imagination has become reality.
I spent this Sunday doing something I thought I would never do. I confess. I read the Sunday Times on an app. Gosh..the guilty pleasure of not having to even see the sport’s section. Do I want to download it? No, no, thank you. So I didn’t push that button. Oh the glory of that escape! I happily downloaded the sections that I wanted! The rest remains somewhere in cyberspace!
It was quite mind-boggling at first. There were articles to read, videos imbedded in them to watch or not watch as I please. Videos that didn’t have articles attached to them. A swipe of my finger could clear away a cloud from a page to reveal text-( too childish for me- but I could see the value in it) and a button to BUY this book now. Oh, I was tempted. Sorely tempted.
An annoying advert sat next to an article that I wanted to read, displaying the dull eyes of a monkey which opened and closed. Very slowly. Very annoying. I neither read the article nor bought the product they were flogging. I did try to put my finger on the monkey’s eyes, desperately hoping to cyber blind it. No luck.
I can see reading history and non-fiction like this, with moving maps and charts and wild diagrams pointing out things to me that my imagination cannot create. Hmmm… I wonder….
I would have loved this as a child or to even explore new worlds with one now! How amazing it must be for children today, and I wonder what flights of fancy it will trigger for them.
Then there was the new novel by a favourite author of mine. I went to the e-book store and was stunned to see the price. 30$ Stunned. I had another look to see why this book was so expensive, I mean I adore this writer, but seriously that much money for an e pub?
I got the free sample and was really taken back. I am not sure how I feel.
The author gives a video interview about the book which was very interesting but he didn’t fail to mention his previous awards. (Seriously?) But in chapter one, and chapter two, you have the option of:
a. reading the chapter in glorious silence
b. listening to the author read the book.
I am on the fence here.
Part of me loves this. I love hearing the author speak. I adore having him read it to me, but the other part of me wants to read. To read in silence without buttons to push, things to distract me from the actual writing. Little slider bars embedded into the text distract me. I don’t like pushing things by mistake and ending up…well I get distracted easily.
I don’t know if this new medium will win me over or not. I swore I would never give up the typewriter, but there it sits covered in dust. I don’t know how I will feel after reading the book, will the process of video, audio, and interaction, and musical score exhaust me? Will I get into the story? I am not sure yet. It’s a hefty price to pay for an e-book, but since it’s in pre-order now, I will have to play with the sample chapters and see how I get on.
I’m curious…how are you feeling about this? Do you want to read with all the bells and whistles, or just sit down with a good book and read little printed characters that make up old-fashioned words?
( I just rechecked and apparently the publisher has dropped the price of the enhanced version to a more reasonable 14.02 and it’s no longer in pre-order)