Saturday, December 18, 2010

Would You Read an Enhanced Ebook?

I don't know about anyone else, but when I read a book, I like to focus on the words. Which is why I'm wondering if I'll ever want to read an enhanced ebook.

I'm speaking, in particular, about fiction reading. I can (possibly) imagine the utility of an enhanced ebook for non-fiction books.

But when I read fiction, I want to focus on the words. I want the words the create images in my mind and take me into an alternate reality.

Enhancements in ebooks seem more like they would be distractions.

Well, here's one person's take on the matter from Shelf Awareness. And although this person found the extra bells and whistles "slowed the flow" of her reading of HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE, she still found the enhancements "neat." Perhaps in part because the book's genre lends itself to those extras. Apparently, the book is "concept-heavy" and the extras build and supplement, rather than distract, from the text.

Even so, as noted, this approach isn't necessarily appropriate for all ebooks.

To quote the article: "I also think that many books might suffer from this kind of enhancement. It's a brave new digital world out there, and my hope is that publishers and authors will try a lot of different things, but will tailor these experiments to the books themselves in the same way that they tailor the jacket. Not every book needs a girl in period costume on the cover, and not every e-book needs embedded video."

I couldn't agree more.

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