位置:首页 > 双语阅读 > 阅读经验 > 正文
日期:2013-08-15 11:40


Cory Wilbur, a 25-year-old software engineer in Boston, never used to read much. He barely cracked a book in college and would read one or two a year on vacation, at most.
25岁的波士顿软件工程师科里•威尔伯(Cory Wilbur)之前阅读量一直不大。上大学时就很少翻书,一年最多也就在放假时读上一两本。
But in the past year, he's finished 10 books, including Dan Brown's 'Inferno,' Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs and George R.R. Martin's fantasy series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.' He listens to audio books in snippets throughout the day on his iPhone during his morning workout, on his 20-minute commute to work, and while he's cooking dinner or cleaning up. Before he falls asleep, he switches to an e-book of the same story on his Kindle, and starts reading right where the narrator left off.
但在过去一年,他“读”完了10本书,包括丹•布朗(Dan Brown)的《炼狱》(Inferno),瓦尔特•艾萨克森(Walter Isaacson)为史蒂夫•乔布斯(Steve Jobs)写的传记,还有乔治•马丁(George R.R. Martin)的系列奇幻小说《冰与火之歌》(A Song of Ice and Fire)。早上锻炼的时候,20分钟的上班路上,做晚饭或打扫卫生的时候,他一小段一小段地听iPhone上的有声书。入睡前,他改看同一个故事在Kindle上的电子书,从朗读者停下来的地方接着开始阅读。
'I fly through a lot more books than I used to,' Mr. Wilbur said.
The digital revolution may have dealt a heavy blow to print, but it is boosting literacy in other unexpected ways by fueling the explosive growth of audio books.
Once a static niche for aficionados renting clunky cassettes or CDs for their commutes, audio books have gone mass-market. Sales have jumped by double digits in recent years. Shifts in digital technology have broadened the pool of potential listeners to include anyone with a smartphone.
At the same time, publishers are investing six-figure sums in splashy productions with dozens of narrators. Using the Netflix model, some audio book producers have even started experimenting with original works written exclusively as audio productions, ranging from full-cast dramatizations in the style of old school radio plays, complete with music and sound effects, to young adult novels, thrillers and multipart science fiction epics.
'It's one of the few times in history that technology has reinvigorated an art form rather than crushing it,' said Max Brooks, author of the zombie novel 'World War Z,' which was released in May ahead of the Brad Pitt movie in an elaborate new audio edition with 40 cast members, including Alan Alda, John Turturro, and Martin Scorsese. It sold 60,000 CDs and digital-audio copies. 'Now, because there is such demand and the production value is so inexpensive, it opens the door for more creative storytelling.' he said.
僵尸小说《末日之战》(World War Z)作者马克斯•布鲁克斯(Max Brooks)说:“技术非但没有毁灭、反倒是复兴了一种艺术形式,这在历史上并不多见,有声书便是其一。”今年5月,《末日之战》在布拉德•皮特(Brad Pitt)主演的同名电影之前发布了一个精雕细琢的有声版,演员达40位,有艾伦•艾尔达(Alan Alda)、约翰•图尔图罗(John Turturro)、马丁•西科塞斯(Martin Scorsese)等。这个版本卖出了6万份CD和数字音频。布鲁克斯说:“现在有这种需求,生产成本又如此便宜,这就为更多故事的创作创造了条件。”
Digital innovation isn't just changing the way audio books are created, packaged and sold. It's starting to reshape the way readers consume literature, creating a new breed of literary omnivores who see narrated books and text as interchangeable. Last year, the audio book producer and retailer Audible unveiled a long-awaited syncing feature that allows book lovers to switch seamlessly between an e-book and a digital audio book, picking up the story at precisely the same sentence.
So far, Audible, which is owned by Amazon, has paired some 26,000 ebooks with professional narrations. The company is adding more than 1,000 titles a month and aims to eventually bring the number to close to 100,000.
'We're moving toward a media-agnostic consumer who doesn't think of the difference between textual and visual and auditory experience,' says Don Katz, Audible's founder and CEO. 'It's the story, and it is there for you in the way you want it.'
Audible创始人、CEO唐•卡茨(Don Katz)说:“我们在接近一群无视介质、不去考虑文本、视觉、听觉体验之区别的消费者。”他说:“他们关心的是故事,而故事就在那里,你想它是什么样子它就是什么样子。”
Audio books have ballooned into a $1.2 billion industry, up from $480 million in retail sales in 1997. Unit sales of downloaded audio books grew by nearly 30% in 2011 compared with 2010, according to the Audio Publishers Association. Now they can be downloaded onto smartphones with the tap of a finger, often for the price of an e-book.
有声书已经从1997年4.8亿的零售额膨胀为一个12亿美元的产业。据有声出版机构联合会(Audio Publishers Association)数据,2011年网络下载有声书销售量较2010年增长了近30%。现在点一下手指就可以把有声书下载到智能手机上,价格常常跟电子书一样。
Recorded books date back to the 1930s, when the Library of Congress created a 'talking books' program for the blind. The proliferation of the cassette deck in autos boosted their popularity in the 1980s. CDs followed, but sales plateaued as audio books failed to keep pace with other forms of digital entertainment.
录音图书可上溯至20世纪30年代国会图书馆(Library of Congress)为盲人群体制作的一档名叫“会说话的书”的节目。80年代汽车卡式磁带座的繁盛促进了录音书的流行。接下来是CD,但由于有声书没有能够赶上其他数字娱乐形式的步伐,其销量一直停滞不前。
These narrated books typically cost $50 or more ($100 for Stephen King's lengthy 'The Stand'), so devotees borrowed them from the library or rented them from mail-order services like Books on Tape, which still exists as a unit of Random House and emphasizes unabridged titles for libraries and schools.
这些朗诵图书的价格一般在50美元或以上(史蒂芬•金(Stephen King)的长篇作品《末日逼近》(The Stand)售价100美元),所以爱好者从图书馆借,或者从Books on Tape这样的邮购服务提供商那里租。Books on Tape仍然作为兰登书屋(Random House)旗下公司而存在,侧重于为图书馆和学校提供无删节的版本。
Prices are much lower now, as production costs have plunged and demand has risen. Audio books can be bundled with an e-book for just a few dollars, downloaded as part of a monthly subscription plan or bought individually for as low as $1.99 (for a short story) or as high as $69.99 (for the Bible). An average downloadable audio book costs close to $20.
'Everybody has an audio book player in their pocket at this point,' says Anthony Goff, vice president of Hachette Audio, where sales have jumped by 31% this spring over last. 'It makes that much easier for the masses to try it.' Downloadable books made up some 60% of total audio unit sales in 2011, dwarfing CDs.
Hachette Audio今年春季的销售额同比增长了31%。副总裁安东尼•戈夫(Anthony Goff)说:“现在谁的口袋里都有一台有声书播放器。这使大众尝试有声书容易多了。”2011年有声书总销售量里面,可下载有声书占了60%左右,CD销量相形见绌。
Audio book producers have been dramatically increasing their output. 13,255 titles came out in 2012, up from 4,602 in 2009, according to the Audio Publishers Association.
Audio books are no longer viewed as just an ancillary product to print. Some audio publishers are now attempting to rebrand narrated books as a distinct medium from print, labeling them as 'audio entertainment.' A handful of such publishers have started dabbling in original audio content, hoping to demonstrate that recorded narratives can hold their own as original works of art.
In the past five years, AudioGo has produced about 25 works exclusively for audio, including 'Baseball Forever,' a remix of radio broadcasts of some of the top moments in the history of baseball, 'Dreadtime Stories,' a collection of original horror stories, and a series of apocalyptic zombie stories. The company has also produced 10 full-cast productions that resemble old fashioned radio plays, a nearly extinct art form. They hired actor Val Kilmer to play Zorro in an audio dramatization titled 'The Mark of Zorro,' and recruited Stacy Keach, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer on TV, to voice the detective in an original Mike Hammer audio book.
在过去五年,AudioGo制作了大约25种纯音频的作品,其中有棒球史上部分巅峰时刻的广播解说串烧《永远棒球》(Baseball Forever);原创恐怖小说集《恐怖故事》(Dreadtime Stories),以及一系列的末日僵尸小说。该公司还制作了10部演员齐全的作品,类似老式广播剧这种几乎灭绝的艺术形式。他们聘请演员瓦尔•基尔默(Val Kilmer)在一部名为“佐罗的面具”(The Mark of Zorro)的有声改编剧里面扮演佐罗,还聘请在电视剧《米奇•斯皮兰版迈克•汉默》(Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer)里面饰演男主角的斯塔西•基奇(Stacy Keach)在一本迈克•汉默题材的原创有声书里面饰演汉默侦探。
Audible, the country's largest audio book producer and retailer, has been investing in original works as a way to showcase the dramatic potential of the form, and to provide exclusive content as HBO, Showtime and Netflix do in television. Audible has produced nearly 20 original audio books, mainly in fast-growing categories like mystery and science fiction. Audible, which Amazon bought in 2008, runs a subscription service for millions of members, who listen to an average of 18 books a year. Plans range from $14.95 a month, for one book a month, to $229.50 a year, for 24 books a year. The pipeline needs to keep flowing.
'If you run out of mysteries, people quit,' Mr. Katz said.