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"An advance in electronic publishing could make the book you are reading seem as dated as a silent film. Publishers hope to exploit the growing success of ebooks by releaseing versions with added soundtracks and accompaniments."


The Sunday Times: August 29, 2011

Can you turn that book down, please?

An advance in electronic publishing could make the book you are reading seem as dated as a silent film. Publishers hope to exploit the growing success of ebooks by releaseing versions with added soundtracks and accompaniments.

When the plot of a book reaches a climax, background scores will create tension.

In America, works by Shakespear and Jane Austen have already been embellished with music and background noise so that, for example, readers can hear china cups clinking in Mr. Darcy's garden as they read Pride and Prejudice.

Supporters argue sound effects are the next logical development for ebooks and will add excitement for younger readers.

Critics, however, argue that the noises will ruin the simple pleasure of having the imagination stimulated by reading.

The new technology has been created by Booktrack, funded by Peter Theil, a co-founder of PayPal.

Thiel said: "It's always exciting to witness the creation of a new form of media. The technology promises to captivate readers in a way that will seem intuitive in hindsight."

URL: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news /uk_news/Tech/article763168.ece