Thursday, 3 March 2011

Interactive books

Keith Stuart imagines ‘a new breed of novels, and a coming generation of writers, to play with the ebook format and develop lots of new interactive ideas.' Many writers already contribute to games, films, comics and novels, merging narrative methods as entertainment possibilities evolve. Readers of crime fiction enjoy sorting the clues from the red herrings, so why not elaborate on that?
One drawback he mentions is that electronic books could be overtaken by adverts. A red alert might pop up every time a real location is mentioned in the text. Readers might be required to hang around in Clerkenwell to 'unlock some extra info on Bill Sykes.' (Not an engaging idea if you live three hundred miles or more from London.)
Yet I can imagine that readers of Jane Austen might actually like to have pic of Colin Firth as Darcy pop up on their screen, or be interested in an illustration of a gown described in the text; why not a picture of Pemberley? A treasure map in adventure novels, a Google map of a city with a specific, relevant spot marked?
As Stuart says, ‘It's not sacrilege, is it? It's just... new.’
Used wisely, it could enhance the reading experience. But there lies the danger. Open the door and the ads might pour in before you can get it shut again. Or maybe we want to make our imagination work and dream up our own version of what’s presented in words. Our brains get precious little exercise these days of tv, film and dvd where its all visualised for us.
Read the full article: here
I took a series of pics early on a misty, frosty morning yesterday and I think the winter colours have a beauty all their own. Look out for more over the next week or two.

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