This is a summary of the points I felt were important in J. Yellowlees Douglas’ The End of Books — Or Books Without End?: Reading Interactive Narratives.

Douglas introduces the extract with example of  CD-ROM interactive audio version of Terry Jones Douglas Adams’ Starship Titanic. Readers entered the narrative via a flashback in the audio book. Combined with the physical Titanic museum exhibitions, readers were able immerse themselves into the act of “reading” the narrative. The audio book is interactive in the sense that the reader is able to make decisions throughout the story and pick their own conclusion to finish the narrative. A major advantage of audio books is that an average book converted into audio can be finished in a matter of hours.

Douglas makes a observation that I totally agreed with. Every time you read the same book, the reading experience changes every time.  The experience of reading the same book at childhood, at adulthood and at old age is immensely different from each other. It means that even though the actual text has not changed, your reading experience has over the years.

Douglas writes, “If the book is a highly refined example of a primitive technology, hypertext is a primitive example of a highly refined technology” (15). The writer implies that hypertext is still at its early stages of becoming an advanced piece of technology. Following on, the author describes hypertext is a tool that lets use the printed word as the basis for a technology that extend the boundaries of writing.