I share a lot of links on Twitter. (Actually I haven’t been so much this week, mainly because my computer’s on the fritz and I’m behind on my internet reading, but we’ll ignore that for now.) Sometimes the stuff I share is book-related, sometimes not… I just have the single Twitter account, not blog-specific. If you do follow me, you’ll have noticed a lot of posts on the Bears and the NFL draft this past weekend (don’t worry, I’ll shut up about football now until September… mostly…). Or you might see stuff about music, or life in general, or cute animals. Pretty much whatever strikes my fancy.
Sometimes, though, I want to say a little about why I’m sharing the link, and that’s hard to do in less than 140 characters. So here are a few bookish things I’ve read recently that I actually had a response to beyond, “Hmm, interesting.”
I wish the authors would have included some examples of what they feel have been successful ventures into this new “transmedia storytelling.” Because, not knowing anything about it… I’m not really sure what they’re suggesting. Yes, with new technologies come new possibilities, and if the big publishing companies can be the ones to take advantage of these possibilities it will help to revitalize them in the new age of ebooks and self-publishing. But until I see some real world examples, I’ll remain skeptical.
I like reading books, whether physical or digital. I like losing myself in stories, no matter the format. But to me, all this talk of “transmedia” really does sound like “forcing unnecessary flash into the reading experience,” whatever they say. And I don’t mean that in a leave-my-books-alone-you-rotten-kids way, just in a if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it way. But I know that’s not the way that innovators think.
While I realize this is meant to be a funny post — the author specifically picked out the “amusing” one-star reviews, which tend not to be the well-thought-out and well-written ones — I pretty much completely disagree with the entire premise behind it. I don’t think there are any books (or any other form of art or entertainment) that are “above the judgement of mere mortals.” Sure, there are timeless classics, but that doesn’t mean that everyone must love them, or that the people who don’t are somehow wrong.
Besides, the author doesn’t argue that these books are timeless classics… no, the reason they’re above judgement is because they’re “[his] favorite books” (emphasis not mine). Which just makes him sound like a self-important snob.
But… since I’m arguing that everyone is entitled to their opinions, I guess that includes this guy’s opinions about other people’s opinions.
This gives some interesting suggestions, and while I don’t know that any of these would really solve the issue of showrooming, they are ways that brick and mortar stores can modernize and embrace the possibilities of the digital marketplace.
I don’t showroom, per se — mostly because I tend not to buy, period — but I do occasionally like to browse through my local bookstore. Usually I’ll go with the specific intent of purchasing something… but then I’ll spend time looking around, just as I would at the library. The difference is, at the library, I don’t feel at all weird pulling out my phone to jot down a title to check out later. In a bookstore, I feel like it would be frowned upon… despite the fact that I’m making a purchase. I wouldn’t consider it showrooming, because I’m not looking for a better deal on the book; chances are I’m never going to buy it anyway. But I still feel uncomfortable doing it.
So… just a few of the links I’ve stumbled across in the last few weeks. Have you read any interesting articles or blog posts recently?