Many of us really enjoy the feel of a book in our hands. The weight of a book on our lap brings comfort. The speed with which the back cover approaches builds anticipation. Some on staff claim to just love the smell of an old library book. There are many joys brought by the physical presence of a book.
There are times, though, that a physical book just isn’t practical. That’s no reason to give up on a book addiction. Instead, we recommend an alternative: audio books! Audio books can up your productivity! You can engulf yourself in fictional characters, historical places, or the latest celebrity biography without spending a day with your nose in a book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
A short survey of Perry Public Library staff showed a great variety of audio listening. The most prevalent use was while driving. These seems pretty consistent with what our patrons report as well. Whether it be long trips or just the daily commute, audio books are used to pass the time. Karen, HCPLS Director, reports two hazards of driving with audio books. First, a good audio book will cause you to become so engrossed that you will watch your exit pass by. Second, a good reader in combination with a great sense of humor has the potential of your driving down the highway laughing hysterically. This can be disconcerting to other drivers, especially if you are the lone occupant of your vehicle.
Karen also reports listening to books on her ipod while she runs. Nyisha, Branch Manager, listens to audio books while she is cleaning around the house. Others report listening to audio books helps to pass the time while they work on their daily chores. Some report using audio books to allow them a little extra time for chores. This can be accomplished by using juvenile audio books or our audio/book kits to occupy children while mom or dad need a moment for adult tasks.
I choose to use audio books when I just can’t possibly choose between my favorite activities. Should I sew something beautiful or escape to another time or place? No need to decide, I can lock myself away with my sewing machine and an audio book. My hands are free to work while my mind wanders. This appeals to my desire to be extremely productive even in my leisure.
Good news for all of us, Houston County Public Library offers a variety of audiobook options and formats. We have a fairly good selection of both cassette and CD books. We have both fiction and non-fiction. The cassettes and CDs can get a bit combersome, especially when driving. There can be as many as 8 or 10 items to juggle as you progress through the book.
Another option can help diminish this little audio book dance. Check out our MP3 discs. This collection is just beginning to grow but is wonderful for driving. The MP3 consists of usually just one, though sometimes two discs. It has the entire book on those few discs. This makes for far less shuffling and more continuous storytelling.
The newest option available within Houston County Public Library System is our OneClick Digital online resource. With just your library card and an email address, you can gain access to a whole catalog of audio books. A wide array of fiction and nonfiction is available. Just select your title and download. You can automatically sync your itunes account and your audio book will be immediately available on a variety of listening devices. Your portability has just sky rocketed!
So during this week of audio book appreciation, will you be listening? If so what will you be up to while you do?