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An interactive book?

September 8, 2009

Level26 is a new novel by Anthony Zuiker, the man behind the CSI TV shows. The book is being touted as the first ‘interactive’ novel, because Zuiker has found a way to work web content into the story.

Every couple of chapters, there is a code printed on the page. On the Level26 website, you enter the code, and get a short film, which gives additional, but ‘non-essential’ information to the reader. Unsurprisingly, given his TV background, he has managed to get some familiar faces, if not names, to take part in the films.

I am utterly intrigued by this. On one hand, if the book is any good, it’s unlikely that I am going to want to stop for five minutes between chapters to watch a film. However, it did make me think of some intriguing possibilities for e-books and the Kindle I will one day have. In that setting, where I am already reading on a screen, if the video clip could be easily integrated, I think I would have much less of a problem with it. Is this concept just a little bit ahead of it’s time, or am I just blind to the possibilities?

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