We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Arts and Culture

Watching Books Online

VIDEO: What's wrong when I spend more time viewing trailers than reading?

By Doretta Lau 15 Jul 2008 | TheTyee.ca

Doretta Lau writes regularly about Internet video for The Tyee.

image atom
Has the literary experience taken over?

Somehow, despite being a video-watching nerd and a bookworm, I hadn't seen a single book trailer (a.k.a. Internet commercial for a literary text) until a few days ago. I was reading The New York Times Sunday Book Review piece on Toronto-born M.D. Rivka Galchen's debut novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, when I noticed a link to a trailer for the book http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43eIV2Kp3bs. The link brought me to this video, posted by HarperCollins Canada:

The book trailer convinced me that the novel might be the heartbreaking work of staggering genius I've been looking for all summer. I find it hard to resist a narrative that begins: "Last December a woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife."

While I was on YouTube watching the trailer, I noticed an interview with Galchen under "Related Videos," and watched it as well. The end of that video prompted me to visit the novel's charming official website. Then I went to Amazon to read customer reviews and order the book.

After spending about half an hour clicking links, it struck me that I had spent more time consuming electronic media about the book than I had yet spent reading the published text itself. I began feeling nostalgic for the time I devoted exclusively to books themselves, and not the related ephemera. I love the Internet, but I'm glad the trailer did the job it was supposed to: next week I plan to sit on my back porch, away from my computer, and read Atmospheric Disturbances, on paper, in a leisurely fashion.

Related Tyee stories


Read more: Video, Science + Tech

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Get The Tyee in your inbox


The Barometer

What do you think the outcome of this election will be?

Take this week's poll