Recently CBS aired an item about the "new" popularity of audiobooks in the literary industry. Here is an older episode they aired: Audiobooks Give New Life to Literature. The one thing they failed to mention was the ability to borrow and download audiobooks FREE of charge from public libraries.
Personally, I have been listening to audiobooks for at least 13 years, maybe longer. When I first started listening to audiobooks, it was by cassette tape. Remember those? Almost always I would borrow them from my local library. Once in a while I would purchase audiobooks, but they were generally more expensive than the hardcopy book. Then along came audio CD's and MP3's, and my favorite of all time - downloadable audiobooks - a FREE service from my local library.
If you want to try downloadable audiobooks, just go to the website of your local library, for instance, Bentonville Library. Then click on the tab Downloadables, then choose Library2Go,
and begin your search for reading material. You will need a current library card number and PIN # to log in and download your book. If you don't have a card, your library's website will guide you how to get one.
Several people have told me that they "just can't listen to audiobooks because they put me to sleep". This can be a problem that, in my opinion, is directly related to the voice of the narrator. A good narrator can lead me to listen to a book that ordinarily I might not have read in print. A good example is Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series. I may never have chosen to read this series if I had started with the print version. The audiobook, however, read by the very entertaining Johanna Parker hooked me immediately with her quirky, southern drawl.
In my search for entertaining audiobook narrators, I have come across several websites that allow you to listen to snippets of each narrators' reading style. The following sites are a good resource for this purpose: AudioFile Magazine, Tantor Audio Audiobooks, and Audiobooks by Reader. The Library2Go website also allows you to listen to a sample of your selection before downloading.
There are many ways to listen to audiobooks. My favorite device is my iPhone. (It is ridiculously easy to download audiobooks from the library to your iPhone.) My husband bought me a wireless Bluetooth device that works great for listening since there are no pesky wires, and I can easily answer any incoming phone calls with the push of button, pausing my audiobook. So - I can clean house, work in the yard, or cook while listening to a book! Multi-tasking!! I also listen this way while driving - which is much safer than earplugs, as I have one ear open to traffic, and it's totally hands free.
Have I convinced you to try audiobooks?????