We have a pretty good collection of audiobooks in the library and of course, we have audiobooks available for download on OverDrive. For many of our patrons who have visual impairments, we also offer a service called talking books (just a different series of audiobooks). Audiobooks are becoming really popular as a different way to get a book fix. But what are the pros and cons and why do people listen?
Often, people choose audiobooks as a way to pass the time while traveling or working out. It’s great to be able to get your mind on something else while on the treadmill or sitting in traffic during rush hour. Some people simply like another way to access books, often dividing their time between paper books and audiobooks. You can cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner while listening to an audiobook, for example!
But what are the down sides to audiobooks? We’ve heard people say they don’t like authors reading their own books because they aren’t animated enough. Some people don’t like to listen to men reading, while others will not listen to women reading the books (personal preferences, I’m sure). And we know a certain librarian who cannot listen to audio books while driving, simply because she becomes too involved.
Recently, however, one of our patrons mentioned she LOVED a particular book she picked up on audio because the person reading it was so engaging. She couldn’t stop listening! But, she mentioned that had she picked this up in print format, she probably wouldn’t have finished it because the subject matter was so dark. It turns out, some books are better when you listen to them!
This is probably the same reason so many of us grow up wanting bedtime stories when we’re kids….the draw of listening to that story unfold, using nothing more than our imaginations, is amazing! It’s why old time radio dramas were so popular back in the day as well. We can’t get enough of stories!
So, if you listen to audiobooks, where do you listen to them and why? We’d love to know!