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Ubooks: enhancing the story with music

Ubooks takes a story, puts the words on illustrated slides, plays them out in a continuous video and adds music for effect. 

There are a lot of ways to read a book these days. You can pick up the hard copy, download the e-book or listen to the audio recording. 

But there is another way to read called "Ubooks", and it was invented by a Lockport, N.Y. native. 

"Just like an animated movie is to the flat picture, this is to words that you would read," Melanie Schulz, creator of Ubooks, said. "It brings them to life." 

Ubooks takes a story, puts the words on illustrated slides, plays them out in a continuous video and adds music for effect.

"Just like imagine movies before there was sound," Schulz explained. "Just imagine that depth of experience. Being able to hear that music." 

Ubooks is a patent-pending concept. It is designed to enhance your reading experience, specifically drawing on the sense of hearing. 

"Have you ever read a book and you wanted to be inside the authors head?" Schulz asked. "This is your way of doing it. This was what they were thinking when they were writing it."

Schulz said she found that no one else had made a product quite like Ubooks. So, she started picking some of her favorite books and working with their authors to transform them. 

She chooses any genre, from kid to adult, picks the illustration and then goes slide by slide, laying the words. 

Unlike a book on tape, Ubooks does not read to you. You read on your own. 

"I decided with these Ubooks, I'm going to have the pauses be as an orator would speak," Schulz said. "If someone was reading the book to you, where they would pause for you to be able to reflect on the words." 

And then she adds the music, chosen based on the mood as the story progresses. 

Both the illustrations and music come mostly from local artists. 

Schulz has just over a dozen books completed with plans to continue transferring up to five books per month. 

She said the concept is new but she thinks people will catch on. 

"I think it's just going to take a little while for people to understand how really cool it is to be able to be immersed in the story like you can be with this particular format," Schulz said. 

The books can be found for free here. You can watch on your computer, smart phone or tablet.