Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:28 pm

Much is made of the fact that the Harry Potter books are distributed in over 200 territories, are translated into 68 languages and have sold over 400 million copies worldwide. But it does not stop there! Our beloved books are also published as audiobooks, e-books and braille books. For example, some very famous actors also read for 'audio books', such as Stephen Fry and Jim Dale. Other ways of experiencing books include graphic novels and radio dramas -- perhaps it is only a matter of time before we see this happen with the HP books.

How did all of these alternative methods of reading books get started? Do some research and then tell us what you find. Discuss one (or more) of these alternative methods of reading in detail. For example, if you choose to do research on braille books - how many volumes of Braille did it take to publish the first Harry Potter book? When did the use of Braille as a method of communication start? How many people use it?

Find out the history and background of an alternative method of publishing and tell us about it! Your write-up should be at least 100 words. You will earn 10 points for the completion of this task.

Send your submission to hol.bookclub @ gmail.com (with the spaces removed) with the subject "Week 2 - Alternative Ways of Reading - HOL ID" by 11 February, 11:59 pm HOL time. Remember to include your HOL Name, ID and house in the body of the email. If you do not want us to post what you sent in here, please say so in your email!
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Re: Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:00 am

Submissions have been received from:

Aurelia West
Gail Allen
Hannah R Thomas
Kendra Givens
Maxim Trevelyan
Polaris Black
Shadow Gaunt
Will Lestrange
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Re: Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:52 am

Aurelia West submitted:

Radio dramas can be traced back to the 1880s and experienced widespread popularity until the 1930s. The first English-language radio dramas originated in the United States. At one point a radio station in New York aired weekly studio broadcasts of full-length stage plays with music and sound effects. However, when the television was invented in the 1950s its viewership went down as people transitioned to watching stories on there, especially in the United States where it never regained the popularity it had once had. However, around the world it remains a popular form of entertainment and many radio dramas are now available to listen to online rather than over satellite radio.
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Re: Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:53 am

Gail Allen submitted:

An alternative way of reading books is reading them as a graphic novel. Graphic novels usually build on a literary work that already exists. It is then translated into a graphic novel. They look a lot like comic books, but usually have a deeper plot and more detail, owing to the book they originate from. Not all originate from books of course, some are written directly for the format of a graphic novel. In that sense they are not very different from movies that are also often adaptations from books, but can also be written directly for this format.

One of the most interesting graphic novels in my opinion, is the manga bible. It makes the bible accessible to an audience that would normally not have touched it and it makes it accessible in a way that makes the stories easier to follow because it provides images with the text.
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Re: Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:56 am

Hannah R Thomas submitted:

E-books

When we think of e-readers, they have been very beneficial for many countries, and just the world as a whole. Studies have shown that, in some ways, an e-reader has been more beneficial than a regular book. One of the obvious benefits of possessing this digital device is that you have your entire library with you. What an interesting fact about e-readers is that they’ve encouraged many children, who weren’t readers from start, have found e-readers more appealing than physical books. This is probably due to all of the technology that has come out, such as smartphones. Additionally, e-readers have helped readers retain information about the stories they’ve read and, if they have impaired vision, e-readers can help “blow up” the words instead of using magnifying glasses or some other like magnifying device on physical books.
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Re: Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:58 am

Kendra Givens submitted:

In starting this task, I Google searched “first ever audio book”. One of the articles I found surprised me, as it’s about how the movie “The Martian”, based on the book by Andy Weir, which was apparently originally only published as an audio book. Andy Weir was an independent author with a small following, and so when he couldn’t find a publisher, he added the book to his website. His readers wanted it in e-reader format, so he put it on Amazon. Before long, his story was wildly more popular than he expected. He was approached first by a small Canadian audiobook publishing company, Podium Publishing, run by two friends whose mission was to support the non-traditional “indie” author community. They wanted to work with authors interested in independent publishing who wouldn’t think of audiobooks as an afterthought to an already successful paperback novel. It just so happened that all of this happened when audio books had a surge in popularity – from 6,700 published in 2010 to over 25,000 published in 2015. Now The Martian has won several awards, including 2 Golden Globes, and I doubt many people know it wasn’t ever a printed book before that.
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Re: Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:00 am

Polaris Black submitted:

Audiobooks are enjoying resurgence today mostly because they have the ability to integrate into our busy lives. Audible even has a system where a user is able to pick up an e-book exactly where the user stopped listening to the audio, so that readers don’t have to choose one or the other. Here’s a quick history of how this medium arose:

1877
After the phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison, it was possible to listen to a reproduction of a recording and Alexander Graham Bell made some practical improvements. These early records could only accommodate short works such as children’s verses and poetry.

1930-50s
The “Books for the Adult Blind Project” included recorded readings of Helen Keller, The Bible, O. Henry, and Edgar Allen Poe supported by the Library of Congress. Since many soldiers sustained eye injuries, the US and UK focused on providing veterans and other visually impaired people with access to books in audio form. To help newly blind soldiers, the New York Public Library’s Women’s Auxiliary, spearheaded by Anne T. MacDonald, developed Recording for the Blind, for those who needed access to recordings for education.

1952
Caedmon Records, now part of HarperCollins, produced audio recordings intended to recreate the moment of inspiration, rather than merely produce a collection of great voices or important literary voices.

1969
Audiocassettes are invented! They were called talking books at the time and the medium grew in popularity.

1980s-90s
Once CDs were invented, bestsellers got recorded on audio and audiobooks became the perfect travel entertainment despite their being impractical to carry around all day.

Today
New technology has enabled anyone to enjoy audiobooks through totally portable smartphones!
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Re: Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:05 am

Shadow Gaunt submitted:

Braille is a system of writing and reading invented in 1824 by Louis Braille. Braille books are larger than regular books, and not many people know how to read Braille. From Wikipedia, “there are 57,425 legally blind students registered in the United States, but only 10% (5,461) of them used braille as their primary reading medium”. Although that is the case, most of it stems from public schools being unable to hire Braille teachers.

Braille has 64 different possible combinations, and even though it was originally made for the French language, it has been transcribed to most of the other languages. Braille is a very useful system of reading and writing and many specialists hope more and more blind and visually impaired people will learn Braille. “Most Braille embossers support between 34 and 40 cells per line, and 25 lines per page” so a Braille book is much much larger than a regular book.
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Re: Week 2 - Alternative Methods of Reading

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:06 am

Will Lestrange submitted:

Even before Muggle computing devices went mainstream, people have always wanted to transcribe the printed word so that it could be read on such devices. The pioneer for this form of reading, Project Gutenberg, actually predates the World Wide Web by nearly two decades: it was founded by Michael Hart in 1971 at the University of Illinois. Hart had the then-revolutionary idea that computers could do more than just compute/calculate numbers: in addition, they could also store information for future retrieval. He demonstrated this point by typing the Declaration of Independence into a University of Illinois computer and then posting it as electronic text.

To this day, Project Gutenberg picks public domain texts (according to US law) that it believes will be relevant or interesting to a large audience, stores them electronically, and makes them available online. These texts are available free of cost in a number of different formats - and range from classic literature such as Pride and Prejudice to reference texts such as Roget's Thesaurus.

But electronic texts go far beyond Project Gutenberg. In fact, there are certain forms of written texts that are designed primarily - or even exclusively - for electronic consumption! Instead of traditional publication, they are posted on the World Wide Web so that anyone with access to the internet (including small portable "fellytones" with screens) can go to the right address to read the texts. The majority of fan fiction, for example, is published in this style.
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