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I’ve mentioned Vooks here before, but I think it’s time for an update. About a year ago, Brad Inman started Vook, a creation that combines videos and photos with text.

Vooks basically strive to make reading a multimedia experience. They are currently available online and as downloads for iPods, iPhones, and soon, the iPad. 

Vook is currently set to expand, thanks to $2.5 million in funding. Upcoming projects will include vooks for bestselling authors Anne Rice and Seth Godin. Currently available titles include public domain works such as Treasure Island and The Jungle Book, as well as The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen, The 90-Second Fitness Solution and more. 
Vook Crush It

I wasn’t thrilled with the Crush It! Vook by Gary Vaynerchuk. In my view, the multimedia additions should really add to the text. In this case, I was more annoyed by the unnecessary vulgarity and unimpressed with the videos. 

The 90-Second Fitness Solution, however, was greatly enhanced by the video. The text described the workouts and benefits, while the video showed the correct form of each exercise. 

Embassy is a thriller Vook with short videos interspersed within the story. I found the videos to be intriguing and enhancing to the content. Were they necessary? No. But with continuing advancements in technology, I know from experience that my youngest son is not reading enough. If a Vook makes reading more interesting and will hold his attention, I might give a YA title a try for him if one becomes available. 

My bottom line is that I think some types of books are a more natural fit with the multimedia approach. While my experience is limited to the three titles above, I can say that exercise books are clearly a great fit. I expect that cook books with technique videos would be useful, especially for beginning cooks, but I haven’t been willing to spend the money on the Japanese Kitchen one. 

In general, self-development books don’t seem like a natural fit to me. At least, in the Crush It! experience it wasn’t. However, creative, short videos inserted into fiction could certainly complement the reading experience. 

Mr Inman, if you are reading this… As you are expanding the Vook experience, could you give a YA book a shot? I’d love for my son to try one his iPod. If you can make reading fun and interesting for him, I would really appreciate it! Discuss this article in our Audiobook Forum 

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