BENGALURU: Our search for activities that can be enjoyed within the confines of our homes often ends in something that has been one of the most enjoyable pastimes since time immemorial -- reading. However, living in the times of smartphones, technology-enabled solutions are trying to bring youngsters to books in formats that they can enjoy. Here are some apps that can help you finish a book or two.
What if you are reading a spine-chilling piece on the app, Plop stories, and you are on the sentence where the biggest scare appears? Be prepared to hear a scream. This app creates an experience of ‘4D reading’ and also enables you to change the ending of selected stories. “We have designed this app for people under 35 who want to read books, but are unable to because they are used to bite-sized text. Those who are born in the internet generation consume a lot of content interspersed with video and audio clips on their smartphones.
This app creates immersive, interactive fiction in a fast-paced format targeted at a young audience,” says Anushka Shetty, co-founder of Plop Stories. She adds that the format takes the written word and infuses multiple multimedia elements like video, audio and role-playing mobile-based simulations to bring a life-like experience. The audio stories are prices at `30 per story.
Storytel is an audiobook app that hosts over 1 lakh titles, in English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali. From romance to self-help, you can listen to books at any time. You can change the narration speed, save audiobooks offline or switch between chapters. It also gives you an option to read an ebook. You can listen to eminent narrators like Stephen Fry, Kate Winslet or Sanket Mhatre and Dilip Prabhavalka. Yogesh Dashrath, country manager, Storytel India, says, “Reading or listening achieve the same thing at the end, which is to lose oneself in the story and enrich each day.
Given the fast-paced times we live in, there are people who find it difficult to spare time for reading. They are discovering listening that allows them to incorporate stories in their multitasking life. As Indians, we have all been brought up amid stories our grandparents read to us. When you are listening to stories, one isn’t essentially putting things on standstill to do so, you are relatively free to go ahead with your everyday tasks.” The app offers a 14-day free trial, and charges a monthly subscription fee of `299 after that.
Free e-books and journals
If you are looking for free books and journals to read, then Oxford University Press is a treasure trove. In order to encourage kids to read during the quarantine, they have made free a large collection of children’s books, categorised on the basis of age groups. You can choose among fiction, picture books, poetry, and flash books and activities. The website also offers support resources for home-learners, parents and teachers. In the research category, it has made content from online resources and leading journals freely accessible for researchers, medical professionals, policy makers and others.