If you watched the Academy Awards on Sunday night, you saw all the possibilities film brings to words. Music, lights, sets, costumes: all of these elements combine to create an experience that engages sight and sound (smell, touch, and taste, too, if you count the popcorn).
Books can offer a multi-sensory experience as well. Paper books create ambiance through the way they feel and smell, the crinkle of the pages as they turn. For a broader range of stimuli, consider e-books. Some publishers are starting to enhance them with video clips, and Booktrack, a New York-based company, creates customized e-book soundtracks.
Imagine hearing clocks tick and raindrops fall as you read about these events. As the scenes in the novel intensify and soften, music builds and fades. Booktrack technology matches the soundtrack with the pace of your reading so the appropriate audio cues in at the right time. Check out the Booktrack website for more information about this new way of experiencing books.
While soundtrack-enhanced books are exciting to some, others may prefer to continue reading the old-fashioned way. Regardless, well-written books will always trigger the most brilliant sense of all: your imagination.
How might e-book soundtracks and other such ideas affect struggling readers? We’d love to hear your thoughts!