Amazon has this new thing called “Immersion reading” for some of its books.  The basic deal is if you buy a book, you have the option of buying an accompanying audiobook for a very small fee and then reading along with the book as it is narrated.  The syncing mechanism will sync the narration with the text, so you can switch between audiobook and written word with ease.

Me?  I like the concept but it’s more of a way to get cheap audiobooks than it is a different way to read a book.  I read, quite literally, over ten times faster than people speak. To follow along in a book with a narration would be a serious irritant.  I’m more likely to use it switching between listening and reading.  Or would, if I didn’t download audiobooks and physically add them to an iPod that doesn’t use an Audible app, and won’t sync in any case.  Listening to a book on my smartphone means a heavy device that has too little battery.  I listen for hours at a time while I’m doing housework and stuff.

I still like the concept.  A book in French?  It’d help immensely with my language comprehension.  For someone trying to bring reading skills up to scratch (child or adult), it’s a great idea.  But since it works on Kindle Fires and the smartphone apps, I’m dubious that it will be used much except among the affluent, and maybe I’m wrong, but I’m going to have to assume that most adults who can afford to buy this stuff read just fine.

Has anyone else tried this and what do you think of it?

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4 thoughts on “Immersion Reading

  1. I actually did this on my own earlier this summer. I had no idea it had a name. Of course, I didn’t have anything to keep stuff synched, but whatever. Combining reading and being read to helped me stick with the book during times when I couldn’t keep focused, but still wanted to read.

    Of course, there are some audiobook readers I just can’t listen to. Cloud Atlas, because of its nature, had different readers for each section. There was one section I just could *not* listen to and had to plain read that part of the book.

    Ramble.

  2. Hi Noel. I have used this, and know that at one time, at least, it was called something like Whisper Sync. As a parent and small business owner/operator I don’t tons of time to read. So I rely on my road and outdoor times to get my fix. Audiobooks work wonders for that. But then there are times when I’m waiting in line somewhere, or in a doctor’s office. Maybe I don’t have my ear buds with me. It’s super handy to pull up the book on my phone and have it go exactly to where I left off in the audio version.

    Cheers!

    1. LOL. A Figart small business owner. Whose thunk it?

      But seriously, that does make sense for it’s use, and if I habitually used the Audible app rather than a Nano, I’d likely do the same thing.

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