Aidan Chambers's iPad App
Tablet Tales
The portal to some of my new writing for the iPad along with some old books republished as my own ebooks. The app is free. Whether the content is free or priced is indicated after the description of each book below.
This app gives access to some of my ebooks, and some new writing specifically for the iPad. A major development, the iPad is bound to generate new forms of literature, and I intend to explore the possibilities. I begin with a new book specially prepared for this app and some out of print books that are still worth reading.
Trying It On is the new book and is my opening attempt to write for the iPad: 'trying it on' to see if it 'fits', and whether it leads to more developed iPad work, and to find out what readers make of it. Readers can respond directly to me, privately, one-to-one, by using: and via my website, links of which are embedded on all pages of the book. Available for purchase in app.
Essays and Articles. Eight essays dealing with various aspects of writing, publishing, and children's literature. Subjects include translation, adaptation of novels for the stage, reading education, the poetics of youth literature, flash fiction, and substantial interviews with Alan Garner and Robert Cormier. Some are included in the app., others are inexpensively priced.
Old books made new as ebooks are:
Funny Folk: A Book of Comic Tales selected from the long folktale tradition of British humorous writing. Most of the tales are retold; some are adaptations from original sources. Suitable for young readers from 10 years old, and for adults. Available for purchase in app.
The Reluctant Reader, first published in 1969, argued the case for a special youth literature appropriate for young people who could read but were unwilling readers of fiction. I would not now support some of the views I held at the time or accept the way these were expressed, but as a historic document, much of it again pertinent in the current state of education and reading among the young, I'm told the book is still of interest to students of youth literature. Included in the app.
Several TT readers have asked me to explain what I'm doing - or trying to do. Here is a brief summary:
New forms of writing; new ways of reading
Whenever there is a major development in the technology of writing and reading, new forms of literature become possible. The obvious example is the arrival of moveable type. Before that, when all books had to be written by hand, no one wrote novels.
It seems to me that the iPad is a development of major significance which is bound to breed new forms of writing and different ways of reading.
A simple example: Built in to the iPad is the possibility for instant private communication between the reader and the writer. Surely, this will have important influences on what is written and the reader's responses to it?
The only way to discover the possibilities is to write for and read on the iPad.
My main intention with Tablet Tales is to begin that exploration and see where it takes me.
Trying It On is a first attempt. I could have published it as a printed book. It isn't very different in any obvious or extraordinary way. But I wrote it for the iPad, and I found this affected my thinking, the choice of subjects, the length of the passages, the order in which I arranged them, and - an important feature - how they looked on the screen.
I haven't included pictures or any of the available, stunning audiovisual effects because I'm interested in words, language, literature. I'm starting minimally with words only. In future I'll use whatever resources the subject requires. I already have two books in mind, one of which will include pictures.
But before I do more, I'm waiting to hear what readers think of Trying It On and my app.
A new way of publishing
A second intention.
The digitalisation of books has created the eBook. So far, publishers have made their eBooks look as much like printed books as possible. The text is only a digital copy of the printed text.
And each book is available individually on Apple's iBooks or Kindle or the other devices.
I'm not doing that.
Tablet Tales is a portal to the writing I want to make available in this format, except for those books which I would include but are already available as eBooks from my publishers. My app is a one-author library and bookshop. In it you can see the books together, receive updates, news, any other features which I add in the future, and you can communicate with me privately, if you want to.
Eternal verities
I'm going back to the basics of print and applying them to the iPad.
The iPad isn't a book. What are its own aesthetics that are different from those of a paper book? What makes it good to look at and use? And what effect does this have on what is written and on the reader?
It is true that the design of letters, the length of the line, the number of lines on the page or screen, the spacing of the words and between the lines, the colour of the background, all these and more have a profound influence on the reader's feelings and thoughts. Often this influence is unconscious.
The aesthetics - the art and craft of print - have been worked out over centuries. We know what is best for the eye to look at, the brain to assimilate, the hand to hold (reading and writing are physical - visual and tactile activities). These verities remain as true for the presentation of words on a screen as they do for traditional book print.
I am trying to apply this knowledge to the presentation of the 'print' in Tablet Tales.
The pages are fixed and numbered. They cannot be altered by the reader. Turning from single-page 'portrait' to double-spread 'landscape' changes the size of the print but doesn't change the page or the layout. In that sense, they are like a printed book. I'm trying to create an object that has its own integrity. In other words, I'm attempting to make a work of art.
New and Old: an author's own iPad publishing
In this first collection, Trying It On is the new. Funny Folk, an entertainment, and The Reluctant Reader, a serious study, are the old, newly presented, and included because people have asked for them or because, along with the Essays, they represent other aspects of my interests as a writer.
For Tablet Tales application support go to SUPPORT


All contents are ©Aidan Chambers unless otherwise stated.








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