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Will anyone read vooks?
How video-book hybrids could affect the future of reading
O

f all the "lame" ideas, said Laura Miller in Salon. Simon & Schuster has teamed up with a multimedia partner to release four "vooks"—video-book hybrids. "Injecting a bit of video into a mediocre story is not going to suddenly make it compelling." And "for $7.99 I can buy a paperback romance novel and in my mind's eye cast Clive Owen as the lead, while a vook is only able to deliver a struggling unknown from the dinner-theater circuit."

"Vooks take the idea of e-books and expand it," said Carolyn Yates in The McGill Tribune, creating "a whole new user experience" by adding video to the act of reading. "For fiction, video advances the story as well as enhancing it, while for nonfiction, the dual-media integration allows for greater clarity and more in-depth information."

"I'm a purist when it comes to the reading experience," said Dave Rosenthal in The Baltimore Sun, but I think Simon & Schuster "is moving in the right direction" with vooks. "Just as the Internet opened up sound and video for newspapers, vooks (or whatever else they get called) can broaden the dimensions of the printed page." And "this is just the start of the book's evolution, so let's see where the technology can take us."

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