Audio Books

Over the past year or so I have developed a love for audio books.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I like more than the feel of a book in my hands, the feel of the paper, the smell, the weight, the sound of pages turning.  I have an e-reader, but I mostly use it for when I travel (my darling husband appreciates me no longer having an entire suitcase just for books!).  But for me, the real thing is still the best.  Unfortunately, life does have a way of getting in the way of reading, and there are times when I just can’t have a book in my hands.  L  And there is sooo much out there that I want to read!  Whether it’s the latest and greatest new release, a fun cozy mystery, a YA series I just never seem to get to, a classic I want a chance to read, an old favorite that I want the chance to revisit…  the list goes on and on… my TBR pile NEVER gets smaller!

Introducing… the audio book!  I admit to being a bit skeptical at first.  While we had listened to the entire Harry Potter series on trips with the kids, and they were admittedly excellent, at least I had read those books first!  What kind of person would skip the actual reading of the book?  Good Lord, what would be next?  Would I start reading books on my phone?  For a traditional reader such as myself, it seemed a bit blasphemous to rely on audiobooks for some of my “reading”.  But how could I consume more books given my pesky responsibilities and the unfortunate limit on the number of hours in a day?  There was so much time wasted everyday – getting ready for work, driving to work, doing laundry, making dinner, …  Audio books give me the ability to turn that “wasted” time into “reading” time.

And it was easy!  My library system offers downloadable audio books that I can get through an app on my smartphone.  Browse, choose, checkout and download.  That’s all there is to it and I have a book with me wherever I go when paper books can’t follow me.  Streaming in my car, playing through my headphones while folding laundry, sitting on the sink telling me a story while I put on my make-up in the morning.

What really surprised me though was how much I enjoyed most of the audio books I listened to, and how much I missed them when I didn’t have something downloaded and ready.  I don’t know why this surprised me, I wrote an entire paper on storytelling for all ages when I was taking classes towards my MLIS, but somehow I didn’t equate audio books with storytelling.  But at the root, that’s what they are, and the truth is ancient and universal – no matter our age, we all love to have someone tell us a story.  It’s not only the preschoolers who enjoy story time. 😉