From the Wall Street Journal again:
Your E-Book is Reading You
I just don't like this idea. Granted, it doesn't apply to me since I don't read e-books. And if anyone wants to know what I think of the books I read, well, I do post reviews and comments all the time on this blog. (I've included a fair amount of demographic information if anyone cares to go digging through older posts. Including my education, age, and gender.)
So I'm not comfortable with corporations checking up on me and how I interact with books (or other media). Before you say, "but Facebook collects personal information," let me remind you that I don't have a Facebook account. I don't mind Amazon so much, because they actually do a good job of recommending me books based on past purchases. (You know, when they're not recommending me a Can Ram because I own the Hunger Games books.)
But there's another issue I have that comes up later in the WSJ article: the choose-your-own-adventure crap. As a writer, there's a story that I want to tell. People may love it, hate it, or be indifferent to it. But I've created the world, and the characters. I just don't like the idea of fan-directed fiction. I think it will degenerate into fan fiction. I am appalled at the woman who left a love interest for one of her characters in her story because 1/3 of the readers were rooting for the guy. What about the story she had developed?
Another issue is consistency. Fantasy works often span numerous volumes. There are overall story arcs in addition to individual episodes. And if we let the readers start influencing what happens in a particular series, the whole narrative is in danger of falling apart. (Maybe you'll remember the episode from season one of Game of Thrones where Khal Drogo gets in a fight after Dany wants to save some of the slaves from rape after the Dothraki start pillaging in order to acquire ships to cross the Narrow Sea. Turns out the guy he kills in that fight is important in later books in the series, and presumably in later seasons of the show. Well, now they'll have to scramble to replace him with some other character.)
One last point, and then I'll go: I actually like it when books aren't predictable. When I'm surprised by the endings. (Not stupid M. Night Shyamalan-style twists, mind you. And not abrupt reversals in character behavior that don't make any sense based on the characters' past actions. Guy Gavriel Kay is good at doing this the right way; in some of his books, romances are built up and then the lovers end up going their separate ways at the end, for entirely logical reasons.)