Monday, October 11, 2010

Interactive Books

Rachelle Gardner recently posted on her blog about interactive ebooks.
And it got me thinking.

With eReader technology, books can be enhanced to be interactive with hyper-links. Words in the story could be linked to advertisements or to extra story content, like maps, artwork, and timelines.

But instead of a hyper-link, I would prefer a small tab on the side of the screen that I could touch to open up to that map or family tree.

I also think it would be amazing to have interactive books totally decked out in all the links, tabs, and amazing things that we can do with such technology. Just think what the Ologies series could do with it!
But it would have to be a book specifically written with interactivity in mind. I wouldn't want a book that was made to be just a book turned into something interactive.

I've been collecting moveable books for awhile now. Pop-up books, pull-tab books, any book with something that moves or gets untied or peeks out from a pocket. I love those things. And I've often torn apart my own pop-up books to figure out how all the moving parts work and have made my own pop-ups.

It makes me really excited to think that the magic of an Ology book could so easily be incorporated into an eReader. True, it wouldn't be the same. You wouldn't be able to untie that red ribbon in the book that's holding closed a secret letter bearing the black spot to a pirate, and you wouldn't be able to feel the texture of a well-preserved dragon scale.

But you could click or touch on things to open them. And you could hear voices actually reading the letters to you that you open. I would so like to hear Arabella Drummond's voice reading her letter out loud to Samuel Shute at the end of Pirateology.

I remember when I thought pop-up books were awesome, but didn't want to let on because they were just for kids. And then I saw Robert Sabuda's Narnia book. That wasn't a kid's book!
In the same way that interactive stories on a computer seem to be only for children, what if someone took those interactive stories to a whole other level? A level at which the clear genius and execution of such a thing would compel readers of all ages to take a peek.

Of course, it would have to be done in a way that honors the book. I wouldn't want to turn a great work into something distracting, as Rachelle pointed out. But still.
I've read the Narnia books several times and I love them. When I bought Robert Sabuda's pop-up Narnia book, I didn't buy it for the story. I bought it because of the unique way the story is presented. Perhaps, in the same way, interactively enhanced eBooks could serve the same purpose?

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment