A brand new Kickstarter just launched last week with the hopes of using technology to make classic literature fun and accessible for students. iClassics is a Barcelona-based company that works to create an “interactive, illustrated, digital library,” as they explain on their website. At present, they already have several interactive literature collections available as apps for iOS devices. With the Kickstarter, they hope to raise enough funds to make the apps available to Android users, make them available in more languages, create new content, and make them free for as many students as possible.
One of the staff members of iClassics reached out to me and encouraged me to check out their Kickstarter. Intrigued, I looked up the iClassics website, and from first glance it was clear that their goals and interests align with mine. Scrolling across the top are previews of their current collections: Lovecraft, Wilde, Dickens, and three collections of Poe. I have to respect any project that makes it top priority to have as much Poe as possible—they’ve certainly got good taste! They even have a beautiful collection of Poe wallpapers and fun extras like the Poe Yourself selfie app, which will certainly appeal to the younger crowd.
As for the collections themselves, both the premise and the execution are spot on. iClassics takes unabridged stories and poems by classic authors and enhances them with music, sound effects, art, and animation. The art for the Poe collections by David G. Fores is particularly breathtaking. Many of the images are interactive, responding to your touch as you read (think like in Pottermore)—my favorite is one scene from “Ghost Christmas” featuring a young ghost girl whose face flickers into a skull when you tap on it! The immersive quality of these stories is fun for both reluctant readers and those already in love with literature.
I downloaded the iClassics Collection Showcase with is currently available for free from the App Store for iOS devices. The app is essentially a preview of their project and contains two stories: “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Ghost Christmas” by Charles Dickens. Both are delightfully creepy, with spooky music and unsettling images adding to the effect. I definitely recommend you check them out to truly get an idea of what this project is about. The iLovecraft, iWilde, iDickens, and all three iPoe collections are available from the App Store as well, for $3.99 each.
If this sounds like a project you’d like to get behind, you can donate to the Kickstarter here. Many of the rewards include access to the iClassics apps, so you can enjoy them for yourself! And even better, iClassics has promised that for every euro raised, they will make their apps free for that many students! This means that every donation, no matter how small, helps a student.
Check out the Kickstarter and let me know what you think of this project in the comments! You can also chat about the project on social media using the hashtag #savetheclassics.