Interactive media (Tim Rogers on books)

Long time listener, new to the forums though; long time reader of books.

Has Tim Rogers ever explained (on the Podcast) his theory on why he thinks books make such great interactive media? I'm morbidly curious about this. Thanks in advance!

To my knowledge he‘s never gotten into on the podcast. With no further information, I’m ready to agree with him, or at least agree with what I imagine his stance to be. I don‘t know all the proper terms to refer to what I’m talking about in writing, so I‘m going to use the word “clues” in quotes. Good novels leave little “clues” about the many things that are going on in the narrative, plot-wise, thematically, stylistically, etc… and leaves a reader to pick up on them, which requires active participation. Sometimes a novel is written in such a way the reader doesn’t even know this is happening, while others can be overt and require dedicated note-taking. This kind of participation is direct, even if there isn't a clean symbol like a controller involved in books.


@“ovitali”#p99565 his theory

It's an interactive theory! He provides the conclusion, and you the listener must provide the argument.

I don't know if this is how Tim means it, but a novel requires a great deal of active participation. While the novel brings the story to us, we bring ourselves to the novel. We bring our memories and histories, our beliefs and ideologies, our hopes and fears, our anxieties and our strengths. We bring all of it all and we give it all to the novel.

Because a novel is nothing but words without us, the reader.

I thought what Tim meant by that was how most people who read books can astral project and enter into a magical realm of imagination while reading a book, and literally observe the events as described, like, how the only unrealistic aspect of Wishbone was that Wishbone was a dog. You all read books that way too right?

@“Gaagaagiins”#p99635 I take issue with your use of the term “unrealistic.” I, like Wishbone, am also a book reading astral projecting Jack Russell Terrier.


@“whatsarobot”#p99636 I take issue with your use of the term “unrealistic.” I, like Wishbone, am also a book reading astral projecting Jack Russell Terrier.

damn......... reading is incredible. I love to read posts as well as books too

@“Gaagaagiins”#p99653 you know what, now that you mention it? yeah.

Wait… y‘all don’t use controllers to read books???

Forum posting is the real interactive reading

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As others have mentioned, I think he just means that the reader has to bring a lot to the work, imagining and interpreting the scenes and characters described within. There's also the fact that the reader (to an extent) determines the pacing by reading fast or slow, backtracking, or just getting lost in thought and letting the story sit idle for a few moments.

He mentioned once that he likes "the way reading make me think" or something to that effect. It definitely encourages one to be active and engaged in a different way than games or film, arguably moreso but at the very least _differently_.

This is at least how I've always understood it.

idk but there’s a lot of criticism centered on the interaction between readers and books/texts. Look up Wolfgang Iser to start with

All valid theories! Thank you everyone!

I was curious if he ever explained his point of view.

@“Gaagaagiins”#p99635 yes

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@“DavidNoo”#p99683 face reveal

No clue what exactly Tim‘s thesis is but there’s all sorts of different ways to read this (the author “interacting” with the reader‘s perceptions, expectations, etc.); in the most literal sense though, I’ve found reading has become a much friendlier process for my severely ADHD, UI-addicted brain when I just carry around a paperback (a Game Boy of writing, if you will) and furiously underline/annotate every aspect of the writing I find interesting or notable. This not only gets me focused but leaves me deeply internalizing what I've read even without looking back over it. Partaking in and breaking down good (ideally great) prose becomes an intense QTE, etc.

They're 100% interactive because you can use a bookmark to save and quit at any time.


Bookmarks are such an important QOL improvement