The Ultimate Gamification of Reading

Last year, I wrote about using LibraryThing challenges to gamify my own reading practice.

But James Patterson trumps it all with his self-destructing book. In order to draw attention to his new thriller, Patterson and has publishing company have  created a digital book that disappears after 24 hours. Complete with a count down timer in the upper right hand corner, the digital product seems to straddle the line between book and game. According to the article, readers an steal time from other people.

Really? Has it come to this? I understand that it is a marketing ploy but it is sending some other kinds of messages that Patterson may not appreciate not the least of which is that this is not any kind of demanding read since it will take less than 24 hours* and doesn’t require a whole lot of attention. I read my own share of “guilty pleasures,” but once we start suggesting that books must be games, then we really do spell the death knoll of the book and, even more importantly, attentive, critical, serious reading.

*And probably a lot less since I suspect most people won’t take the day off to read.

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