Written by Jim Murphy | Photos by Anthony Harden (July 2017)
With their company Talking Book, Ben Matchar and Kris Hartrum are on track to become the audiobook industry equivalent of indie rock stars.
It began with the spoken word.
Before long, words evolved into sentences, and sentences grew into stories. As the stories became longer, the storytellers began notating them on clay tablets. Eventually, paper was invented, and then ink, and a couple of millennia later, a hand-written Latin manuscript called The Book of Kells made its appearance. Fast forward another 600 years to 1450, when Johannes Gutenberg invented moveable type: People learned to read; books began to circulate. By 1830 paperbacks made their appearance, and books were everywhere.
As technology moved on, the tape recorder opened a new frontier. Books moved onto tape, onto compact discs, and finally onto digital platforms, where they evolved into electronic impulses: no pages to turn, nothing to touch, nothing to see. We had returned—finally—to the spoken word.
And that brings us to Asheville, where a young company is busily publishing digital books for a young audience born and raised in a digital age.
(Pictured above: Asheville poet Nickole Brown)
The full article continues below. Click to open in fullscreen…