Celebrated writer Ruskin Bond's beloved stories will find a new lease of life in the form of audio books, and that too in the master storyteller's own voice.
To begin with, 85-year-old Bond is recording eight chapter books, based on different themes – adventure, thriller, animals, nature, travel -- and will include stories "Cherry Tree", "Getting Granny's Glasses" and "White Mice", publishers Penguin Random House India announced Thursday.
Chapter books are a format where previously published short stories are broken into shorter chapters to make reading easy for young readers.
"Thanks for Puffin and Penguin audio books I can realize my ambition of reading aloud my own stories, and that too, to an audience of thousands of young and old readers — now listeners — lovers of good storytelling.
"Here are some of my favourite stories — 'Cherry Tree', 'Getting Granny's Glasses', 'The Eyes of the Eagle', 'White Mice', 'Earthquake', and several others — first published as short chapter books by Puffin, and now presented to you in audio form. Not every author has the chance to read aloud his own stories to an appropriate audience. I had fun doing the readings, and I hope you'll enjoy them too. Happy listening!" Bond said.
This series of audio books will be released in early 2020 and will be available across all leading audio book platforms.
"It was a dream to immortalize Ruskin's work beyond the written word, and I am thrilled that he agreed. This is a first and one of its kind collaboration for us and an absolute honour.
"His exceptional writing style has inducted many of us to reading and it continues to play an important role in growing up with books. We have published innumerable books by Ruskin Bond and it is a matter of great privilege that we will now be able to make his craft available in different formats," said Sohini Mitra, associate publisher, Penguin Random House India.
Publishers said they hoped the audio books would help build a deeper connect between the author and listeners.
"As publishers, we have been most forthcoming in adapting trends that encourage reading and the love for books. With more and more people on the move, audio book becomes an easy way to keep in touch with your reading habits and an author narrated book can have its own novelty.
"As a parent, I am always looking for new ways to inculcate reading to my child's routine and this is a great way to keep them engaged with interesting stories with important life lessons," said Niti Kumar, SVP marketing, digital and communications, Penguin Random House India.