Friday, July 11, 2008

Confessions of a Fuddy-Duddy


Bonchurch, Isle of Wight,
Jasper E. Cropsey,
o/c, 1859.

Interactive e-books? Hyperlinks? Enhanced, enriched experience?

Seems this is an avant-garde thing, where, if a reader runs across a reference to a bodhran, said reader may click on unobtrusive links and peruse a picture of said drum, read a brief precis of its history and development and/or listen to a thumpa-thumpa concert of someone beating and bashing one. Visual/audio footnotes, as it were.

Suddenly, the oft-heard whine that use of an obscure term tosses the reader out of the story takes on new (and possibly hypocritical) dimensions, doesn't it?

Assisted reading. No imagination necessary. Le dernier cri.

Whatever. Fine for those that like/want it and have the toys.

But what really throttled my thong was a chiding comment on the topic (from my usual source -- ie. someone, somewhere) to the effect that multimedia was so last year.

Which to my mind relegated the act of reading, traditional or otherwise, to having the latest style of packpack for kindergarten or the brand of must-have running shoe. That is, it's all about the latest, newest status whistles, baby, not the content. That one must learn to multi-task or die with dinosaurs.

Harumph. Also bollocks and balderdash.

I am, about books and reading, obviously, en retard, and decidedly derriere-garde.



39 comments:

BernardL said...

Reading's not going anywhere.

'...really throttled my thong'

Ouch! :)

writtenwyrdd said...

It would interrupt my reading enjoyment. Besides, that's what google is for, if I want to know badly enough. Or the dictionary, but it doesn't have bodhran in it.

Bernita said...

Really bugged my ass, Bernard.

Written, mine too.
Am just not "with it."

December/Stacia said...

Ugh, that would totally drive me nuts. What happened to figuring things out by context, or exploring things after the book is done, or whatever?

I get interrupted enough by my kids when I'm trying to read. I don't need the book itself to keep interrupting me too.

Bernita said...

"I get interrupted enough by my kids when I'm trying to read. I don't need the book itself to keep interrupting me too."

Well put, December! Exactly my feeling.

Ric said...

Ah, the world is passing us by. What's carbon paper?
You've GOT to be kidding.

One that gets me is using the computer to find phone numbers while the phone book is being used as a mouse pad. Which is easier?

Robyn said...

Snuggle up with your computer by the fire on a rainy Saturday. I dare you.

En retard. That just sounds so much better in French.

laughingwolf said...

count me in your corner, bernita... i 'live' the good tales i read

those i can't get to the second paragraph in, get tossed... if even bought... and at today's prices, i'm really careful of purchases!

spyscribbler said...

I get interrupted enough! I agree. Although, I do miss pictures in my books. Whatever happened to pictures?

Charles Gramlich said...

A friend of mine was showing me a story by a newish writer that basicaly does hypertext footnotes IN the story. She liked it, but she made the point that the footnotes were funny. It may be the wave of the future but I'll fight to my last breath for the traditional book and story. It was good enough for every human up to this point. It's good enough for me. I agree with your sentiments entirely.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Technology can be pretty threatening, and it changes so quickly that it sometimes feels as though we're all nothing but fattened cows. I've decided to embrace technology, which I think we can mostly agree has killed the world of fiction magazines and probably magazines in general.

Sam said...

LOL - die with the dinosaurs!

That is too funny.
I can just see it. Books where 'hard words' are clickable so you can get their definition, books where you can click on passages and get certain music to go along with your reading. Books that talk to you and who picture that...
Hmmm. We're mixing books with movies now. I guess in this world everything can be a hybrid.
:-D

Bernita said...

Hee, Ric!
I think the book is, really.

Yup, Robyn, has that certain je ne sais quoi!

I'm much more tolerant, Lw,( and probably waste a lot of time by being so) I'll give a story pages and pages.

This is the substitute, I suppose, Natasha.

I like to make my own pictures in my head, Charles - instead of being TOLD.

It's not the technology I object to, Stewart, it's the idea that a book is like a fashion accessory.

Bernita said...

"Hybrid"... I guess, Sam.
Batteries not included.

raine said...

...throttled my thong...

LOL! :)

Oh, geez.
I barely know how to post a blog...

Agree, I always thought that was what Google was for. Or using your own thought processes. Or your own imagination.
I have no problem with new technology, but come now. Being too lazy to read?

Bernita said...

Raine, she said plaintively, I don't want a book talking back to me.

Rick said...

I don't know the full original context, but multimedia was so last year sounds more like a snark about bells & whistles.

Stewart - magazine fiction was struggling long before the computer era. At least, my impression is that magazines published a lot of fiction in the first half of last century, but it was already dwindling by around the 1960s, except for genres such as SF/F and mysteries.

Bernita said...

Rick, could one say that the net has, in fact, provided a new opportunity for magazines in a different form?

StarvingWriteNow said...

I agree!

I'm happy to stay En Retard, as you put it, forever.

Bernita said...

All these "advances" are just so twitchy , Beth!

Steve Malley said...

Hear, hear! I remember much the same being said when we went from stone tablets to vellum parchment.

Pure balderdash.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

I guess I'm not 'with-it' either. I'm published with an e-pub but don't even download e-pub books because I wouldn't know what to do with all those pages. So, interactive is definitely not for me. Give me an old-fashioned, hold-in-the-hand book any day.

MissWrite said...

lol yeah, Bernita judging from a couple of your comments so far, the great idea behind you post may have been a bit obliterated by

throttled my thong

I really thing that will stay hovering in my mind all night long now. Funny as hell though.

Only you--really, only you.

Bernita said...

"I remember much the same being said when we went from stone tablets to vellum parchment."

Geeze, Steve, I didn't think you were that old...

Eh, Suzanne!If I want music with an e-book, I'll choose my own.

Sorry about that, Tami, but you know me...

Jeff said...

I agree with you, Bernita. I don't need bells and whistles with a book.
I guess that makes me your "fuddy-duddy buddy." :)

Chumplet said...

Ecccchhh... Let's just read. If I wanted features like that, I'd do all my reading on Wikipedia.

Bernita said...

"fuddy-duddy buddy."

Delighted, Jeff!
~make a great title, that~

"If I wanted features like that, I'd do all my reading on Wikipedia."

Probably where the hyperlinks connect, Sandra!

ChrisEldin said...

HAHAH! I came over to post about "Throttled thong" and see I'm not the only one.

You just let me at 'em. You won't have to worry about any more throttled thongs.
:-)

re your post--I would HATE this. I'm distracted enough as it is.

Bernita said...

As Sandra said, Chris, I'd feel I was reading Wikipedia and not a novel.

Barbara Martin said...

Bernita, I agree with you. Links are distractions to my reading a post. A photo accompanying the text is preferred. If readers desire further research it is there once the article has concluded.

Bernita said...

Then you must find my posts sometimes quite distracting, Barbara, as well as those of many bloggers.
I can see these link-buttons being effective in a non-fiction e-book, but not in a novel.

Jon M said...

With you on this one Bernita, especially if one brought a bodhran therdumping into my ear, its bad enough when your trying to play your mandolin in the pub...

the best way to play the bod?
With a penknife! :)

Bernita said...

Can be quite something at a camp site at 2:00 A.M. too, Jon!

"the best way to play the bod?
With a penknife! :)"

~smiling~
Wicked...

SzélsőFa said...

what if that comment was meant to say that it was the content that mattered?
I agree, though.

I like multimedia supported texts, but only if there is some real content.
L'art pour l'art does not usually work for me.

archer said...

But what really throttled my thong

I am so stealing that.

jenniferw said...

Me too.

Bernita said...

Archer and Jen: I was about to say "feel free" and thought better of it...

Lana Gramlich said...

Isn't everything "so last year" these apathetic days? Screw 'em. ;) At least I know what a bodhran is (I have one hanging on my wall!)

Bernita said...

"Screw 'em."
Right, Lana!
~ still muttering over the idea that one is not a REAL reader unless one does it with the latest toys~