Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vooks

Sure, now I am a proud member of the Our Stories staff, working for an online literary journal that offers everyone who submits a personal response in the largely impersonal publishing world that greets beginning writers. Before I was introduced to Our Stories, however, I wasn't so sure about the merit of an online journal. To my mind, print journals reigned supreme, and those that were easy-access were not as discriminating.

That said, after being introduced to the world of e-literature, which has burgeoned over the last five years, allowed those from a wider demographic to have access to the same work, and likewise, allowed those from a wider demographic to submit work, I have changed my mind. Moreover, I now have become a dedicated reader of many online literary journals, from which I find inspiration and entertainment. That said, I am still only a fan of the online literary journal, not the online book.

I have read a few e-books, and though I was able to get through them, I have to admit, I felt the experience lacking. I craved the actual feel of a book in my hand--the ability to underline and dog ear pages, the very act of flipping a page. For novels and memoirs I have read this way, I found that a good book is able to transcend experience. I still enjoyed disappearing into the vast worlds suggested by a good writer; but there's something about having a physical book...

Today, I was forwarded an article on Vooks. I won't burden readers with my largely biased thoughts about the eminent Vook. Have you heard of these things yet? Well, according to a recent New York Times article, Simon & Schuster will soon release four Vooks. They hybrids, in a sense, part book, part movie, "which intersperse videos throughout electronic text that can be read — and viewed — online."1

I would love to invite any feedback on this new wave of publishing. To me, it seems to suggest that the literary industry is slowly dying, leaving a larger market for film. Oh, but I said I wouldn't burden you with my thoughts, so forget that last comment. Will anyone miss the act of imagining characters? The unique feel of inventing the imagined worlds a novelist creates or the vivid scenes of a powerful peice of nonfiction?

Or, do you think it's fantastic? The visual and literary worlds were bound to merge and we only benefit from the hybrid entertainment?

I'd love some perspective. I'm feeling a bit obstinate (perhaps old fashioned?) here...




1. BOOKS | October 01, 2009
Curling Up With Hybrid Books, Videos Included
By MOTOKO RICH
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/books/01book.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

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