So today, I was talking with a coworker and we were talking about books. He mentioned that he hates getting books as a gift because he feels like he’s obligated to read them. I mentioned that I still haven’t finished the Tom Clancy novel I started reading on our honeymoon. We’ve been married for almost 13 years now. I don’t know if we even have the book anymore.
So what am I reinventing for books? Well, the one issue I have with fiction books is that it’s hard to keep the names straight. You get some new name introduced, you may not even be sure how to pronounce it, and that’s the character. Well, my suggestion for reinventing books? Fill-in-the-name.
Yup. It’s simple. the first time a character comes up, let the reader pick a name. They can choose something that makes sense to them to keep the characters straight. For example, if I tell you a fictional character is a garbageman, you might give him the name “Oscar”. When “Oscar” comes up later, you’ll be able to easily connect what character he was. That, or provide popups of character notes throughout the entire book.
So that’s it. That’s what I’d do with books. Obviously, this would be e-readers only.
What would you do?