Of 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."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- What if The Purge was real?
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
Subscribe to the Week