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By Paul Nisbet on Wednesday 31st March, 2010 at 4:10pm
Barrington Stoke, the Scottish publisher of high interest books for struggling readers, has released eBook versions of six of their titles.
The books are available from the i-Stars web site in Adobe PDF, Microsoft Reader or Zinio Whiteboard formats and you can buy a single home licence (£6.99) or a school licence (£25).
The six Barrington Stoke eBooks are:
- Sol Campbell;
- Death Leap;
We have been speaking to Barrington Stoke for some time to encourage them to release digital versions of their books, and so it's great to see it happening. In the wider scheme of things we would rather see publishers selling accessible digital copies of their books at an affordable price, than rely on our collective efforts to scan papers books into the computer and make digital versions.
One great thing about these new books is that they are accessible with text-to-speech: most commercial eBooks can't be read with text-to-speech software because the publisher has protected them to prevent them being copied, which also prevents the text-to-speech software getting at the text to read it. The Barrington Stoke books aren't protected in this way, so you can use text-to-speech to read them out.
The Zinio versions are designed for use on a whiteboard but can also be read on a PC using the free Zinio Reader software.
The Microsoft Reader versions can be opened on a PC or PDA using free Microsoft Reader software and the computer can also read them out if you install the free Microsoft Reader Text-to-speech package. The screenshot on the left below shows a book in Microsoft Reader - the text is being read out and highlighted as it is read.
The PDF books can be read on almost anything - Mac, PC, mobile phone, iPod etc using various versions of Adobe Reader software. The screen shots below shows a PDF book with a clickable index on the left of the screen, and two pages displayed side by side.
We hope that more publishers will follow Barrington Stoke's lead and make their books available in accessible digital formats.