The iPad offers such powerful features – and excellent resolution – that truly enhanced books are possible. Here are six apps for the iPad that have popped up in recent years that look at great literature, paying homage to fantastic works while adding new layers.
Literature from Shakespeare
Let’s start with the Bard of Avon, Will Shakespeare. Both poet and playwright are represented with excellent apps. Touch Press’s $17.99 The Sonnets by William Shakespeare is a perfect example of what’s possible in an enhanced book. Not only do you get the text itself and notes from the Arden Shakespeare edition, but you also get videos of actors and Shakespeare specialists reading all 154 sonnets. There’s a facsimile of the 1609 Quarto edition of the poems, and plenty of background information to help you understand them.
Literature from James Joyce
James Joyce is another author whose works lend themselves to this approach. Naxos’ $10.99 Joyce’s Ulysses: A Guide unlocks the doors to that reputedly difficult classic novel. With a full text, replete with hundreds of annotations, and plenty of background information, you can dive into Ulysses with no fear of getting lost. There’s information about Joyce’s life, the music in the book, a brief recording of Joyce reading from it, and even an abridged audiobook of Ulysses (the full version is too costly to be included in the app).