You know, once in a while you hear such a logical, well-thought-out idea that you start to wonder, even fear, that society will end up heading down some sort of interesting and completely boring path to productivity and peace. This is not that idea. HarperCollins has restored our faith in the wonderful futility of humanity with "Video Books." The publishing house is on the hook for six v-book versions of real books, which involve an ultra-abridged version of the title being spoken directly to the camera by the author. The first of these is Jeff Jarvis' book What Would Google Do?, which is 23 minutes of the man speaking to your face in front of a white backdrop, and retails for $10. We were hoping for something a bit more like Reading Rainbow, but we must admit the two minute preview we saw was strangely compelling. Authors receive 25 percent of the sales, on par with e-book rates, but can you really put a royalty rate on the future?

Read - HarperCollins Tries 'Video Books'
Read - What Would Google Do? V-Book

HDTV Listings for February 3, 2009