Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

Verdict Out On Whether A Good Idea Or Not

STATUS: For the last three days running, I’ve made it a goal to power through all the emails while I was at Frankfurt. I started out with 170. Made good headway but now for three days running, I’ve started with 130 emails and I still have 130 emails. Can’t shake the feeling of running in place….

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU by Herb Alpert

As I was walking the Frankfurt Fair floor, perusing the booths on display, I stumbled upon a booth for a company called Booktrack. In short, they do sound tracks for electronic books.

Not sure what I think about that, so I figured I’d give it a listen.

The sample work on the floor was the short work IN THE SOUTH by Salman Rushdie. I popped on the earphones and gave it a listen as I read. There was ambient noise and sounds that connected with the text on the page.

Kind of reminded me of Spa on XM radio.

Did I think it enhanced the reading experience? The jury is still out on that for me.


16 Responses

  1. Angela Brown said:

    I think there are a few grassroots efforts building for some small press and others to get together to form a network of readers for e-books. Would be interesting to see what the jury comes back with regarding your reading experience.

    I admit that having ambient noise may be interesting, though I wonder if my imagination would be too tempted to ride off into some ambient horizon…without the reader.

  2. Shallee said:

    I’m not sure if I’d like soundtracks for a book. I’ve got a pretty active imagination, and I might start yelling at the soundtrack if it didn’t match what’s in my head.

    “It’s not the clinking of wine glasses, it’s the clanking of silverware!”

    Then my husband would REALLY start giving me weird looks.

  3. Melissa Pearl said:

    I can’t read or write with music. It keeps distracting me.

    Did you find that it pulled you away from the story at all?

    Interesting concept. Not sure it’d work for me though 🙂

  4. Jennifer said:

    I listened to a David Baldacci book with a bit of a soundtrack. There were gun shots and some other noises, all of which I found really distracting and annoying.

  5. CJ Black said:

    I at times listen to music when I’m writing usually New Age and Jazz and I’ll chose my own songs as sort of a soundtrack. Helps the muse stay on track. I actually went to the site and looked around. It seems it would be a good idea for people who enjoy music with their reading although there is a cursor going across the screen that I would find distracting. I think I’ll look into this a bit more.

  6. Kendall A. said:

    I think it could be cool, although tricky since everyone reads at a different pace. A professor I had in college said one of his favorite senior theses that he read was about protest music in the 1960s and it included a CD to be played while he read the thesis. I always thought that was a really interesting idea.

  7. Alana Roberts said:

    I’ve thought of the idea myself – CD’s could also be included in physical books – but I’d prefer something simpler, such as a “theme song” for each chapter. Of course the chapters would have to be organized with the need in mind to have a single feeling dominant throughout each chapter.

    My husband always listens to Tchaikovsky while reading Lord of the Rings… he says it makes a difference in the felt understanding of the story.

  8. Danielle said:

    I can’t have any noise around me when I’m reading because I’ll start listening instead of reading. The same thing with writing. I’ve tried it, and it’s just not for me.

  9. Michelle Z said:

    I take my e-reader everywhere and in most places i don’t want noise – Dr. offices, rocking my baby to bed. I don’t see this being of a lot of use.

  10. Oliver said:

    Personally, the only time I would accept multimedia in literature is if the author herself put it in there because she felt it enhanced her story.

    Third-party injections are too karaoke.

Denver Skyline Photo © Nathan Forget [Creative Commons] | Site built by Todd Jackson