And I feel fine? Hmmm…not sure.
Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers recently posted a blog article entitled “The End of Book Publishing As We Know It” in which he discusses how the publishing industry is going to have to completely rethink how it does business. He was prompted to write the article after seeing a demo for the “SI Tablet.” (The demo is posted in his article.)
He brings up some fascinating points including that standard “books” as we know them will go away, just like 8 tracks and the like. I believe at some point, that’s probably true. They may not go away completely, but just like iPods replaced Walkman’s and CD players, so will the E-Reader replace standard books. That’s just the way of things, and in a lot of ways, it’s very exciting.
There was one point that bothered me though. Mr. Hyatt states that, “These new technologies promise to create reading experiences (if we can call them that) that are more sensual, more imaginative, and more compelling than simple text alone can provide.”
Ok, I have to admit, I like a lot of the new technology. I love my Netbook, my iPod, and I enter every Kindle contest I can find, but the above statement disturbed me because what are books, if not a way to expand our OWN imaginations and sensory images?
I have a hard time getting through a book where an author tries to think for me, example: “He turned his eyes to the floor, because he was ashamed.” What’s the fun in a device that will spoon serve the book to me, sensory images and all? The E-Readers that are out now, you still have to READ them, so I don’t feel like the traditional ‘book’ is as threatened by them as they are by something that promises to turn a reading experience into something more.
Granted, his statement is a little vague. He doesn’t state specifically that these new devices will eventually have crazy things like sound effects and smell effects that will trigger at certain points and “enhance” the reading experience, but it does make me wonder what DOES he mean? At what point is this technology too much?
What are your thoughts?