By Gwyn Allred
Ask me how I feel about nooks or tablets. Go on, ask me. As an English Education Major and an avid reader, I have always preferred paper over electronics when it comes to choosing a reading medium. I have been in many debates with my brother-in-law (a 17-year-old junior in high school) about the difference in thrill between watching something on TV and reading a book.
In basketball games after a player dunks the ball and everyone goes wild, he will often turn to me and say “Read THAT in a book!” And I will give it to him that there is a difference. But with technology today, the bridge between the two is being gapped by interactive e-books.
In 2010, Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition was published. This is an e-book for iPads that combines the original text of Dracula with interactive elements: when characters are using a lantern in the dark, the page is dark and the reader illuminates it by dragging a lit lantern across the page. When a character is stabbed by another, silhouettes on the page act this out as you read and blood splatters onto the page. It uses the technology so many of us have at our fingertips to infuse Dracula with interactive activities and surprises that thrill readers.
This is the ultimate combination of technology and literature that provides enough incentive to get kids more involved in reading. The thrill that someone experiences when watching a scary movie is incorporated into this e-book. This thrill comes naturally to my fellow readers, but has been deadened in many other millennials.
Creating these e-books that appeal directly to tech savvy people is the beginning of a new age of reading. It interacts with more than just the minds of the reader because instead of using only the eyes, the body is also involved. A reader touches things in the book, sees illustrations come to life, and gets sucked into the story not just by reading the plot, but by collaborating with it.
By infusing these classics with the technology the rising generation is familiar with, a new generation of readers may still be in our midst.