Are You Ready for an E-book? Or, Perhaps a Vook.

vook on an iphone

Vook on an iPhone

By Ralph Phillips, Computer & Information Systems

I was an early adopter of the Amazon Kindle, a popular e-book reader. However, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was and am still not the ideal e-book user. You see, I am a fan of libraries and the free books they offer. I’m also a fan of book exchanges and friends loaning me books. As soon as I got my Kindle I became a book purchaser and started spending more than I wanted on books that I could have checked out for free. I’ve come to realize that to warrant the expense of an e-book reader, you need to be…

  • an avid reader (but that’s not all).
  • a regular book purchaser.
  • someone that often has several books going at once.
  • regularly in situations where carrying multiples books is a true inconvenience, like traveling on an airplane.

Although I know people that fit all four of these criteria, I only fit two of them. That is why my Kindle now collects dust on the same shelf that I keep the half-dozen library books I’ve got checked out at any given time.

But there is something new on the horizon that has grabbed my attention–vooks. What is a vook? It is a new format of e-book that integrates video clips into the traditional text. A vook can be read on a normal computer or on an iPhone. The curious reader can visit http://vook.com/ and download one of four available volumes. Topics include health/fitness, beauty tips, and there is even a romance novella.

Readers are changing, books are changing, and certainly the technology that unites these two groups is changing.

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2 Responses to Are You Ready for an E-book? Or, Perhaps a Vook.

  1. Ralph says:

    I’ve heard of some pilot programs where Kindles are rented out to college students via their bookstore or library, but not to the general public.

    I’ve recently installed a kindle app on my iPod Touch and can now access my Kindle material on this very portable device. Obviously, not as convenient to read on because I’ve got to flip pages more often.

  2. Ralph. Thanks for posting! Your evaluation of the Kindle is widely shared (Sherman Alexie was even more critical of the Kindle during a recent OPB interview but for artistic reasons), but I’m still curious about it, especially for travel. I have no desire to read a book on a small phone or on the computer, but the Kindle is the perfect size for airline travel (and I wouldn’t have to pack an extra bag for my books and magazines). Any idea if airports are starting to rent them?

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