interactive books: good or bad?

The Guardian this week published an article about whether interactive book apps were positive or negative things for young children.

It’s an interesting read, essentially asking the question: what is important about the reading experience?

[Ferelith] Hordon says… “They are great fun and they have their place. But on the whole, they distract from the reading experience. For very small children there is something very special – and something that needs to be treasured – in listening to the parent’s voice reading.

“If you start putting pop-ups and twiddles and voices into the picture book experience, where is the difference between that and a film or a game? In this world in which there is so much noise and movement is there no value in promoting stillness and thought?”

It’s definitely a controversial thing to challenge what people see as the next advance in this type of technnology, and it opens up a whole discussion about what reading is.

Is it reading because the words are on screen? Is it reading because its about a story? Does it matter which format the words are in, or is reading fundamentally about scriptism – that our society has decided that the written word is the most perfect form of language, the most ideal – perhaps the most idealised?



the challenging question:

“Is it necessary that the text be readable and accessible?”

(that moment that comes after, while reading difficult articles and critiques, when you realise that one text has more credibility than the other, in academic circles)


to which I say:

“Is it necessary that the text be highbrow, critically acclaimed and/or difficult in order to be valuable and challenging?”

elegy – Borges & experimentation

Draft experiments, working with the text of Elegy (Borges, J.L. 1964, translated by D.A.Y.)

(all images by me)

Not sure if this is heading in a final direction //
or if its just a dry run for The Book Thief (Zusak).

I like the incredible concepts in Labyrinths by Borges, and the turn of phrase is interesting, but not as lyrically compelling as The Book Thief. In some ways, this almost means there’s more reason to express it visually; to intrigue people to read it; to promote an author who is slightly less accessible.

On the other hand, is it worth it? And are the concepts along the line with my thoughts on reading and the richness and power of stories? I need to search for some excerpts/the vibe of the Book Thief. Then we’ll know a bit more about where things are heading.


Had a look at ‘the Brief’ requirements for next week. Have some bare bones thoughts, but they seem surprisingly inadequate and empty compared to how I’ve been describing it to people. Need to mine this blog, my smaller ‘thoughts’ notebook, and possibly record some conversations where I explain the project.

the unbearable usefulness of blogs

I’m digital. You’re digital.

I forget to write notes in my sketchbook about ‘what I’m thinking of’ and ‘reflections of major project’.

Blogging last semester was a really good way of developing critical thinking about my research and design project, and it was invaluable in keeping me on track. Unfortunately, the title of the blog should have been more conducive to ongoing study and research/design blogging. I chose the specificity of it to focus myself and not allow sidetracks. And now, that means I need a new one. Here we are!

It’s nice to be back. I will be blogging through my Major Project in Visual Communication (Design) at UTS this semester, and hope this can help me get over the first brick wall I’ve hit, which is STARTING AT ALL.

Let’s begin.