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iPad, can you read me a bedtime story?

Do you recall when you first heard the words “and they all lived happily ever after”?

Do you recall when you first heard the words “and they all lived happily ever after”?

For many, it was a time when storytelling was a daily ritual and a window to a world where everything was possible.

Now it’s even easier to rediscover that sensation. For Generation Y, tapping into nostalgia is as simple as tapping a finger on an LCD screen.

Smart devices offer them unlimited access to the cultural references that shaped their lives.

A survey by comScore in April revealed 18- to 34 year-olds represent nearly half of all iPad owners.

Not surprisingly, then, this tech-savvy age group is the driving force behind increasing audiobook sales — up 40 per cent so far this year according to Megan Fitzpatrick, senior manager of Hachette publishing’s audio division.

No longer just convenient for a long road trip or commute, audiobooks fill a void. Sure, these mp3s feed a hunger for instant gratification, but they also satisfy the innately human tradition of oral storytelling.

It’s an old idea resurrected for new media. And in an era of more options but less leisure time, audiobooks encourage listeners to multitask.

Plugged in Millenials economize pleasure, education and work simultaneously.

Although they’re often accused of having short attention spans, Fitzpatrick argues that young audiobook listeners actually tend to be avid readers, adding that they prefer unabridged titles.

“Audiobooks take active engagement, compelling listeners to pay attention to every word and to the cadence of the language,” she says. Moreover, the “cinematic totality” of a narration with high production values can turn otherwise apathetic readers into literary connoisseurs.

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