Books of Hope Talk to Everyone

Iincwadi Zethemba Books of Hope, in association with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group has designed and produced interactive, multilingual speaking books on mental health and other issues in Africa.


(Books of Hope)

Although this technology is familiar to us in the U.S., this is the first time that this sort of information is provided in a book form that can be seen, read, heard and understood by the reader regardless of their reading ability.

The sound tracks are recorded by local personalities familiar to everyone in a given district. Each Book of Hope has 16 pages of illustrations supporting the text. Each page has a pushbutton to provide a sound track of the text.

I've been trying to track the idea for a book or pamphlet that really talks; I know you could buy them in the U.S. in the 1990's. Science fiction writer Harlan Ellison wrote about talking pamphlets in 1974, and Philip K. Dick wrote about battery-powered 3D comic books as early as 1965 in his intriguing novel The Zap Gun. I'm not talking about books on records (which were around in the 1930's, I think), but a physical book with text pages that would read itself to you when you activated its self-contained recording.

Read more at the Books of Hope website.

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