Reading #6

Douglas, J. Yellowlees. The End of Books — Or Books Without End?: Reading Interactive Narratives. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.

“If the book is a highly refined example of a primitive technology, hypertext is a primitive example of a highly refined technology, a technology still at the icebox stage.”

Douglas discusses the contrasts of print media and its advancement into the technological world. He gives an in depth discussion of both the positive and negative changes, how stories can become even more fulfilling through narrative possibilities presented through game versions or interactive novels. He also references the beloved Jane Austen, explaining that her immortal classics can become even more well known through film adaptions, but the classic is still a classic, and more loved in its original form.

The preference Douglas obviously has for hypertext is reinstated throughout this text, his raving glorification of it never ceases. He refutes any negative claims given by critics that hypertext will hinder readers in any way. Douglas firmly believes that hypertext is the future of reading, as it is so much more immersive than regular print text which does not interact with its reader.

His dismissal of print fiction is harrowing, particularly seeing as this book was written 14 years prior to today, and hypertext is yet to overtake the classic novel.