Gamebooks are about being able to play around in a familiar world, make mistakes, and try again. Interactive books for adults do just that, but this time, the majority of choose-your-path books are focusing on classic and well-known stories, rather than the nostalgic stereotypes found in the kids’ series. Interactive books use the stories of classics––Austen, Shakespeare, historical romance––to give adult readers a chance to toy with the literary worlds they have known and loved.
I just discovered that there are choose-your-own-adventure interactive audiobooks! I’m not sure why I am just finding this out. I grew up in the eighties and nineties, and Choose Your Own Adventure books were as much a staple of my youth as big ratty bangs, too much blue eyeshadow, and oversized neon sweatshirts with shoulder pads.
According to Reading Picture Books to Children by Megan Dowd Lambert, this is an opportunity for both parties to engage in “extended, cognitively challenging conversation during the reading of a book.” It’s a free-flowing narrative experience that makes space for children to develop ideas about the structure and reasoning behind the narrative and art of books.