This morning the msn web site posted a story about Anne Rice releasing a new vampire novel as a video book. Hunh? What's a video book? I googled the word and the surprising thing I discovered is that there was very little information about the subject. I did find two sites that discussed the video book idea.
Basically, from what I could find, a video book presents the author sitting in front of a screen telling what the book is about. Another site said that there would be graphics, music, etc. So in essence, it's sort of like cliffs notes done in a video format. The video book viewer doesn't really have to do anything but get the basic idea, plot or point to the author's story.
Reading is certainly undergoing an evolution. There's no denying the advances in publishing, and as an ebook author, I applaud the technological gains with the likes of Kindles, Nooks, iPod Touch, etc for ereading. More people are reading because of these new devices. Heck, I can even understand the usefulness of audio books for people with hectic, busy commutes. At least with these new technologies, a person still gets to either read or hear the author's words. The reader, including the one listening to an audio book, is free to let their imagination interpret the story from the writer's words. It's the choice of words from an author that leads us down the path of the story.
Seems to me, we already have something like a video book...it's called a movie. Often, we come out of a movie theatre and say, "the movie was good, but the book was better. They had to leave a lot out." Now with a video book, they apparently are attempting to leave out the words as well.
Here's one technological breakthrough in reading that I don't think I'll be undertaking. I like to read. I like to let my imagination and the author's choice of words take me on an adventure. Happy reading.