Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vooks (no, this isn't a typo)

As children, we may have fought the transition to reading books without pictures. Thanks to the vook, that childhood joy has returned.

To quote, “A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story.” Imagine video trailers for books, documentary-esque footnotes within the pages, interviews with the author, and social media connections with other readers. As I type this, I feel like I’m channeling H. G. Wells, but this is no futuristic world. The release of the iPad has only furthered the possibilities for this new publishing medium.

I’ll admit my hesitancy. What about the loss of imagination here? Haven’t we all read a book and then seen the movie, realizing that the director’s vision of a character looked nothing like the image in our own heads? Should we let the videos dictate this detail for us? That takes away the glory of reading a book in my opinion, letting the world of film take over the beauty and simplicity of the written word.

However, imagine the new readers that may be pulled in with this multi-media glory. Imagine the total package of story, history, creation, and connection. If books are too old and dusty for some who crave more, vooks could bridge the gap creating larger reading audiences.

So while admitting my wavering, I’m still in favor of this swing. I think when I have my chance at the vook, though, my characters will all appear in silhouette to keep their faces in the imagination of the reader.

We all know people who are starting to speak up – no longer in a whisper – saying that they really love reading on their Kindle. Will the vook be the next revolution? The world is changing my word weaving friends, and it is in our best interest to keep up with it.

I wanted to end with some examples of video book trailers done really well. Not all were created for the vook, but they get the idea across:

(Nonfiction) Dean King’s Unbound:

(YA) Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall:

(Thriller) Katherine Neville’s The Fire:

If you know of others, please comment and add them. What do you think? Is the world ready for the vook?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kris! Thanks for your review of the Vook. You have so well articulated what we believe: that the Vook makes for a richer, more dynamic reading experience, not a compromise of imaginative faculties!

    In addition to the trailers that you've listed, you can direct readers to where they can see trailers of all of our Vooks, or watch "what is a vook?" [].

    iPad users can get our Shakespeare [] and Sherlock Holmes [] Vooks for free.