Audiobooks can stimulate child’s interest in reading: Ruskin Bond

NEW DELHI, 19 May: Audiobooks can inculcate story listening habits in children and gradually attract them to reading books, said legendary author Ruskin Bond, who turned 90 Sunday.

To commemorate the day, audiobook platform Audible has brought out a keepsake edition with 25 of his popular stories. Titled All Time Favourites for Children, the stories have been curated and selected by the author himself. The narration is by Anuj Datta.

Bond said that audiobooks can be like oral storytelling and stimulate a child’s interest in reading.

“Sometimes a child is reluctant to make the effort to start reading a book. If it’s being read to them, either the book is on audio or somebody is reading from one, it helps to create interest. Once that interest develops, the young reader very often will go on to reading books on his or her own,” Bond told PTI.

“I would call it a stimulus, a catalyst for the whole art of reading,” he added.

Talking about his childhood, Bond said that he began to read at a pretty young age.

“My father used to tell me stories, mostly about history. I was an early reader, but some kids are not. They come a bit late to books. So, audiobooks fit in very well there in their early years,” he said.

The stories in the new audiobook include Goldfish Don’t Bark, Boy Scouts Forever, The Black Cat, Grandfather Fights an Ostrich, A Bicycle Ride with Uncle Ken, The Woman on Platform 8, and The Parrot Who Wouldn’t Talk.

Bond had previously narrated many of his stories.

“A few years ago, Puffin Books brought out a whole series of my chapter books and these are short stories of mine that we split into chapters for easier reading. I went to Delhi and lent my voice for about 10 stories. Each one turned into an audiobook and I believe they’re doing fairly well,” he said.

On his latest venture, the Mussoorie-based author said, “I hope children would listen to it during their summer break. It excites me to know that many of my books and stories are accessible on” (PTI)