The miracle of reading books is rediscovered. Microsoft introduced the Text-to-Speech add-on to their Reader. Soft female voice, like a mother or a friend, reading to us patiently and tirelessly! A perfect companion that you can start and stop at the click of a button, Virtual Reader. Beautiful, kind, passionate, as much as we can suspend our disbelief (as with any Virtual Reality).
Yes, on a practical note, it can greatly reduce the reading time. While reading the conventional way one tends to pause and reflect, thoughts taking us further and further away from the book. Think about this: if our thoughts would pause the video tape or a DVD while watching a movie - we would never reach the end. The same is with unassisted reading - humans tend to drift off, get tired, or interrupted. Voice assisted reading takes us on a journey where we surrender the control to the Reader, the constant pace forcing us to be alert and present, or else we could loose the thread. It whips us into shape, against our innate laziness, our cultural lack of attention for anything that requires longer than five minutes. The movies do the same, they carry us to the land unknown, introduce us to people unmet, provoke emotions harbored deep inside us. Yes indeed, the miracle of reading books is rediscovered due to the Microsoft's Text-to-Speech add-on.
Reading books will never be the same after the advent of Text-to-Speech. Oral story telling will be in again. All you'll need is an eBook and MS Reader,... and a comfy chair by the fireplace!
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