Amazon has been delving into every aspect of reading since they introduced their first generation of Kindle in November of 2007. And when they looked at the reading market, they saw a considerable sector of the market they currently didn’t have control over in the form of Audible, so the online giant bought Audible in 2008. With this new market brought under their control, they quickly set about to enhance the capabilities of their Kindle portfolio. They had initially introduced Whispersync as a way to keep your place between Kindle screens so you could read on any given Kindle screen without losing your place.
However, when Amazon included Audible as part of their portfolio they introduced Whispersync for Voice a supped up version of their first generation Whispersync. Not only does Whispersync for Voice keep you at the same place between audible devices it also keeps you at the same location between Kindle devices if the e-book has a paired Audible version. Now think about it you can start a book on a Kindle at home then hop into your car and pick up right where you left off listening to the book as you drive to work. Then on your break pull out your Kindle app on your phone and read a few more pages, only to then hop back into your car and continue listening to the professional narration as you go home on your commute.
This technology that Amazon has been continually improving is incredible. It is absolutely mindblowing when you stop and think about it. Which is yet another reason why I absolutely love Audible. And thanks to the rich collection of narrated stories that Audible currently has and is striving to continue to improve, the selection of books that support Whispersync for Voice is impressive. The thing that is truly impressive with Whispersync for Voice is the next logical extension of the technology, Immersive Reading. It is limited to specific Kindle screens, but it highlights the text as the professional narration reads the story.
It is that that made me get my daughter a gift that would help her reading while we do some of our everyday things. Listening to Audiobooks has helped to ignite her mind to the world of reading, specifically Brandon Sanderson’s Alcatraz series! Now thanks to Amazon’s amazing Kindle ecosystem my daughter is able to listen to books that would typically be too far above her reading level and follow along as the spoken words are highlighted on her Fire’s screen. And recently she has begun to gravitate to this section of her fire, and I haven’t been more thrilled.
I think her recent nudge towards using her Fire to listen to books comes from the nightly habit I’ve worked so diligently to instill. Every night I would play an audiobook, and we listen till she fell asleep. We have read through a fair number of books this way, and right now she is looping through the Alcatraz series. This habit is so well formed that she has some trouble going to sleep if we don’t have a book playing as she tries to fall to sleep. But I’m ecstatic that a spark of excitement for the written word is beginning to fan in my daughter’s mind.