Audio books at World Book Fair

Audio versions of about hundred fiction and non-fiction books have been featured as part of the ongoing World Book fair 2012.

New Delhi: No time to read? No worries you
can always `listen` to your favourite book while cooking,
jogging, driving or even when out buying groceries, thanks to
a range of audio books that have been available in the country
for some time now.

Audio versions of about hundred fiction and non-fiction
books have been featured as part of the ongoing World Book
fair 2012 by audio book brand Reado.

From "Peter Pan" to "Jungle Book" and subjects ranging
from waistline reduction to confidence boosting, there is much
to choose for "book-listeners". The 100 titles available range
from children stories, popular contemporary fiction and
classics, to health, self-help and books on business.

Reado`s CEO & Co-Founder Sumit Suneja says the idea to
bring these audio books came from the growing need to cater to
that section of society which is moving in the fast lane and
has very little time to read books.

"I know so many people in my life who do not have the
time in their lives to read books but they still want to gain
knowledge. People`s lifestyles have become very busy. I have
been one of them. For seven years I have been bringing audio
books from America and listening to them. I wanted the same
luxury to be available in India and that`s when we decided to
initiate a venture in audio books here," says Suneja.

Audio books, that are pegged at USD 7 billion global is
still in its infancy in India and has been estimated to grow,
are easily downloadable on mobile phones, MP3 players, Ipad,
Iphone, Android and other tablet devices, making it a
convenient experience for hi-tech book-lovers.

Audio booths available at the stall have been attracting
curious visitors at the Bookfair. Suneja describes the
response at the fair as overwhelming and added that there is a
great potential for audio-books in the Indian market.

"We have received stupendous response. We took a small
booth but it seems we should have taken one that is three
times bigger. The interest is humongous. All phones are now
compatible, no additional devices are required, and your time
is well spent while doing other activities. It`s the right
time for audio books lifestyle," says Suneja.

The audio books stall has been a big hit with children.
11-year-old Zenab Zaidi`s smile remains fixed as she listens
to an animated voice narrating crimes and mysteries being
solved by the enigmatic fictitious detective Sherlock Holmes.

"I really liked it; it`s like listening to stories like
we listen to music. It was really fun," says Zaidi.

However, these audio books have not been able to impress

Hyderabad-based mathematician V Anand Krishna says such
books would ruin children`s vocabulary and grammar.

"After book culture, it was the visual culture. Now it is
the listening culture. But book culture is the best. You have
to read the books and then only you will learn and improve
your vocabulary. Listening is secondary, reading is primary,"
says Krishna.

In order to convert the books into audio formats, Reado
has partnered with several publishing houses including
Penguin, Hachette, Harvard Business Review and Brilliance.
The audio books are available at prices ranging between
Rs 299 and Rs 599.


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