It’s some years since I stayed in with Colin Sinclair and he told me all about his book Elji and the Galrass in a post you’ll find here.
Sadly, a freak car accident saw a rock fall from the back of a lorry that left Colin’s daughter Amy seriously injured and she lost her sight. As a result, Amy was unable to read Colin’s book and Colin set about finding a means to bring his story, and those of others, to those unable to read them for themselves. With his daughter Colin has set up Behear to bring books to life for the partially sighted and blind.
However, whilst we are all increasingly familiar with audio books, what Amy discovered was that it was more difficult to attune to a single narrator and as Colin has been involved in acting and performance for many years Behear was born. With Behear, books are transformed from single narration to dramatic performances with a variety of voices and effects that dramatise story, making books accessible and engaging.
Having sampled Elji and the Galrass through Behear, and understood how this method differs from a simple audiobook, I wanted to feature the initiative on Linda’s Book Bag, because I think this more realistic and dramatic method of making books into audio books would not only help blind or partially sighted readers, but would be fabulous for reluctant readers or those who struggle to engage with conventional forms of books. Behear will take a book, turn each character into a unique voice and release the book in a series of episodes.