Booking Through Thursday

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?

For starters, I don’t think that the ebook with extras are “better”.

I sort of tend to agree with both of these attitudes. It can be exciting to get something extra with an ebook, such as a map or glossary or list of the characters. Or maybe even a short story centering on a secondary character. On the other hand, I think that’s really unfair to start expecting the extras. After all, authors have to already be their own PR person/publicist and copy writers. Are they now expected to be poets, map makers, composers, artists, programmers… When are they going to have the time to write the actual books?

So yeah, on the whole I tend to think that expecting books to be multimedia events is going in the wrong direction. On the other hand, ebooks can allow freedom of expression to those who might have the talent and interest to do all or some of those things.