Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ebooks and Apps? Yay or Nay?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jul/03/marcus-du-sautoy-apps-books

Follow this link and you'll find a very interesting post about the future of e-books.

While most of us who've been in the industry for a time have found cause for celebration in the recent "interest" of hand-held devices and downloadable reads, this prediction of what looms is distressing.  Of course it's only the natural progression of technology...the need for greed to make more money by creating newer, more intriguing applications to add to the newer gadgets.

As I responded to the poster who shared the link on one of my loops, I see the addition of "apps" to e-readers as an attempt to lure youngsters to read more, but will they?  When I'm engaged in a book, I don't want to stop and throw pies at the queen or take a spin on Harry Potter's broom.  Reading then becomes a game and steals away the opportunity to fantasize.  Are we doing our children a disservice by allowing everything to become "electronic?"

A recent study has shown that children who spend countless hours playing video games display a loss of concentration in the classroom.  While we may think we are letting them improve their hand-eye coordination, what are we doing to them, really?

I think this post about applications added to books is interesting and a good conduit for discussion.  How do you feel about adding apps to your work?  I say No!


What next...Instant messages to disturb us when we've finally left the computer or television to lose ourselves in a book?  I think technology is awesome, but I also think we're getting carried away.  Here's an example of Alice in Wonderland for the IPad:

8 comments:

MuseItUp Publishing said...

We know that technology grows to enhance our lives in one way or the other. But mixing games with the pleasure of simple reading is something that will surely end up removing or enhancing a love for reading in our children in the future.

They will never see the end of the book. The in-between games will entice them more than the words written, excuse me, carefully written by the author to offer a reading pleasure to his or her reader.

Reading books is one thing, playing games is another. These two elements need to be kept from each other.

Greenery, greed, a whoring aspect for the written word for a quick buck is not the way to go. Have your apps as a complimentary addition but leave the books as they are meant alone.

It's one thing to have interactive play for the young ones to help them appreciate and grow for a love of reading and writing, and another thing to have them for all ages.

Total disgust.

Lin said...

As someone who likes technology...to a point I am not one who thinks this is a good plan. We need to stop having our electronics babysitting our kids. Books, whetehr they be the ones you hold in your hands, or cpature via your e-readers, are genré specific. Are we so spastic we can no longer conentrate on one thig to the exclusion of other diversions? And what will that do to the genertions coming up after us?

I like technology...but it isn't the sum of who I am nor would I want it to be.

Katie Hines said...

You know, Ginger, I'd wondered about those applications. The iPad boasts about 200,000 applications available. Yes, you read that right!

The lowly book is getting lost in all of this. I am not particularly in favor of ebooks, but do see it as being the wave of the future.

Borders announced its opening of an ebook store, and Barnes & Noble is right behind it.

I think authors are going to have to scurry to not let the ebook revolution leave them behind. Alas for the lowly printed book.

Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

I'm undecided how I feel about this addition. As a teacher I see the benefits for holding students' attention and researching while reading nonfiction. I can also see its use for enhancing children's and YA books or extending the story with a video or something. I'm interested just to see where this goes and follow along.

Maryann Miller said...

No apps for me in books I write or read. I think they are okay for folks who like them, but I want the option of reading without them. Like you said, Ginger, they would be distracting from the story for me.

Morgan Mandel said...

I have to agree that being too creative with book apps can be distracting. People need to keep whatever concentration skills they have. I've already noticed it's harder for me to concentrate. I blame it on technology and getting older. (g)
Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.com
http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Ginger,

Whether you like it or not, I don't think we can stop this trend. However, I don't worry too much as I doubt it will affect the romance genre.

I did a contest where I asked readers whether they watched trailers. About half of the respondents said that they didn't like to do so because they'd rather imagine the characters for themselves -- that seeing pictures of them spoiled the reading experience. Romance readers want to get lost in a book. They don't want to be distracted by bells and whistles.

BTW I also did a contest asking who used Twitter (worrying whether I needed to start with yet another electronic time waster...) Not one of MY respondents said yes. (Much to my relief!)

Hugs,
Lisabet

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