Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hooked on Vooks?

Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.

—Edward Thorndike

Putting aside all debate on bookstores & libraries over e-publishing & electronic readers, the only sure thing we know is we must adjust to change. It’s not in the air; it’s in the lightning-speed shockwaves of our delivery systems. The metronome of the communications world seems to be on a cocktail of crack, Adderall, and steroids. Ask any kid. Emails take too long these days for those with nimble fingers able to text out their messages in nano-seconds.

Enter the Vook. High concept and arguably the next wave of story-telling, the Vook brings us the opportunity to read and watch at the same time. While reading online text, the user is able to click on high quality video at any time, as it relates to the story.

The advantage in the non-fiction category is obvious. Instructions can be illustrated so that the viewer can SEE the how-to exercise program, they can read the recipes, then see what their finished meal is supposed to look like when plated at the table, they can enter the boardroom, the courtroom, or the classroom, and experience the development of trendsetting thought through graphics and virtual blackboards.

For fiction, the Vook adds another dynamic. Reading becomes a true sensory experience. Imagine highlighting key moments in your manuscript with sound and color that explodes off the screen. Scenes elapsed by time are easily and quickly depicted with rising suns and fading light. Settings, once necessary and time-consuming to describe and often bordering on purple prose, are now instantaneous. This just may be the ultimate answer for the writer battling that age old rule… Show. Don’t Tell!

If you’re interested, Simon and Schuster has a good page on Vooks. Check it out at http://promo.simonandschuster.com/vook/

While we brace for the future of publishing and communication, all this speed, all this business of more and more information delivered faster and faster, can at times be dizzying to the soul.

This weekend we received a beautiful handwritten thank you note from a recent houseguest, via the good old USPS. Breaking open the seal on the envelope caused me pause. This had impact. This was happiness on paper.

Today I hope you’ll explore the arrival of the Vook, and I also wish you a good old-fashioned card, hand-written, in your mailbox. If you don’t receive one, send one. You’ll be amazed how good it makes you feel.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your lovely post about Vook! If you're interested in Vook as a sensory experience, you should definitely check out our latest release, Best of Times, by animator and experimental filmmaker Jeff Scher. The Vook is 14 of his films, along with accompanying brief, meditative essays. [http://bit.ly/cxcYuO]

    I think you'll find that it's in a category all of its own. Plus, I think it will appeal to your lyrical mind (re: "rising suns and fading light :) )