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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Friday, July 25, 2014

Type A: Hearing between the lines

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Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 5:00 am

For most people, silence is an important component of reading. Dutiful parents raise children with quiet time for books, librarians shush noisy patrons, and teachers dispatch pupils to read in still corners of classrooms.

One company wants to use the new world of ebooks to shatter this tradition and give noise to books. Booktrack, a New Zealand firm, is adding ambient sounds, sound effects, and even music to ebooks. By doing so, it hopes to transform reading the way sound transformed silent film. “Lots of people, when they hear about Booktrack, jump to the wrong conclusion,” co-founder Paul Cameron explained from his San Francisco office. The plan is not to diminish the importance of reading, rather to strengthen it. What we do is enhance reading.”

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