Posts Tagged ‘audiobooks’

Stephen King is one of my favorite writers. I credit that to finding Night Shift on our family bookcase in high school and devouring it late at night. It was terrifying. Then I discovered The Stand. I was hooked!

I commuted to Indianapolis for graduate school and discovered audiobooks. It was a perfect distraction from the painfully boring drive between Fort Wayne and our state capital — especially on the drive home when there was nothing good on the radio. I listened to many books on tape during that time.

I have now moved on to downloadable audio that you can use through our OverDrive service with your library card. I download audiobooks to my phone and then listen to them as I walk and drive. I still can’t listen at home, though — I get too distracted.

I was absolutely delighted to learn that Stephen King was releasing a new story on audio only, months before the print version comes out. This is certainly not the norm, but an author of his standing can do whatever he wants. 🙂 Here is a nice write-up in the New York Times.

stephen king drunken fireworks

From the author’s Facebook page

Drunken Fireworks was really funny. Hearing the Maine accent, instead of trying to conjure it in your head, is irreplaceable. Tim Sample was the perfect narrator. It was a short story (90 minutes), and well worth the listen.

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If you could see all of the activity around me today, you would know that the answer to that question is “yes.”  Of course I would say that as a librarian, but the last few days have brought home to me how much our services are needed.

There is so much information available on the internet that people need someone to sort through information for them.  Librarians find creditable sources and libraries pay to use online databases that the general public cannot afford as individual  subscriptions.  Yesterday I showed a mother the Tumblebooks link on our kids page.  With a computer, children can see the pages of picture books on which the words are highlighted while the computer reads the text aloud.  I also explained the Maker Lab to a very excited patron.These are two of the many resources you can access with your library card.  We offer e-books and audiobooks that can be downloaded to your mp3 player through Overdrive, streaming movies from Hoopla, magazines through Flipster, music downloads through Freegal and a language learning program called Mango.  All of these services can be accessed from home through whatever internet device you own.

We currently have two terrific apps for your mobile device: the ACPL mobile app lets you browse the catalog, check the events calendar, store your library card info and renew books with a touch of your screen; the family app has games, information and much more to offer to parents of young children.  You currently need to have an Apple device to access the family app, but I’m told it will be available for android in the future.

Libraries are gathering points for the community.  Parents attend the same story times each week with their children and make friends with other parents.  Groups use our meeting rooms for quilting, dance, yoga, scrap-booking and, of course, meetings.  ACPL has its own theater and art gallery. There are also live music concerts throughout the year.  This summer ACPL again offers Rock the Plaza concerts outdoors on Saturday evenings.  Oh, by the way, we also have books.

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It’s fun to hear a book

Do you think audio books are only for children who can’t read or for older people who are losing their vision?  Think again. Audio books allow you to read while you do something else: walk, exercise, ride a bike, housework (ouch – I hate that word!). Just don’t take them in the swimming pool with you! Allen County Public Library offers audio books for all age levels and in several different formats.  I mostly check out books on cd because I listen to them in my car while I  drive.

We also have Playaways that are basically MP3 players with one pre-recorded book on each Playaway.  They check out like any other three week item and all you need is a triple A battery and a set of ear buds. Not every branch has them, so check the catalog for locations if this is what you want.

I’m sure you know we have ebooks, but have you checked out our downloadable audio books?  You can search with any number of categories: genre, age level, fiction/non-fiction.  You can choose to download them in MP3 or WMA format.  Just like the ebooks, downloadable audiobooks check out for up to three weeks and return automatically with no late fees.  They can also be returned early.   There are over 1100 audio books that come up under adult non-fiction with new titles being added every day.

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I am finicky when it comes to listening to books on CD.  My experiences are either short-lived or seemingly life-changing.  For me, it starts with a compelling story, typically a true story, then either quickly lives or dies by the reader’s voice and delivery.  The most poignant books I have listened to have been memoirs read by the authors themselves.  And it makes sense, who better to articulate and connect with the words better than the person who penned (and often lived) them?  The emotions are more palpable.

Below are a few recent examples:

just kids

Just Kids, written and read by Patti Smith

Patti’s Jersey accent and thoughtful cadence create a solemnly sincere space. It feels as though you are sipping Nescafé alongside your incredible friend as she recounts her passionate personal endurance of the 1960s.

i remember nothing I Remember Nothing [and Other Reflections], written and read by Nora Ephron

If anyone can make nothings into somethings, it’s writer & producer Nora Ephron. Clear, witty, and relatable, she reads her final book of reflections in a way that I have not soon forgotten.

always looking up Always Looking Up [the Adventures of an Incurable Optimist], written and read by Michael J. Fox

In Michael J. Fox’s voice, you can hear the physical strain of Parkinson’s Disease. Most of all, you hear the relentless enthusiasm that he has for life’s moments, whether they be trials or triumphs since his diagnosis.

If you enjoy listening to authors read the books they have written, fiction or non-fiction, there is a quick way to search for them using our catalog.  In the search box, type “read by the author” (make sure to use quotation marks) and hit return.  Try it: it’s as though you have your own personal bookstore reading, in the comfort of your home or vehicle, that doesn’t end until the book ends!

read by the author screen

read by the author

Don’t forget about the additional option of downloadable audiobooks, and let us know what gems of audiobook performances you find.

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Mom reading

“Mom lying on bed and reading a book” — obviously not drawn by my kids, because they don’t see this very often

I love to read.  Growing up, I read books from the library very often and read every book we owned at least three times.  Summer days, late nights, weekends — I had so much time for reading!  Then along came college … pleasure reading fell down my priority list because I spent so much time studying (okay, and maybe some partying, too).  And then along came kids.

My kids are growing up so quickly, and I feel like I miss so much when I’m working.  So when I am at home, I want to spend time with them.  We read lots of kids’ board books, picture books, beginning readers, and now we are getting into chapter books with my son.  But I really want to read for me, too!  During dinner, I can usually get through most of the newspaper, but rarely do I have time to sit down with an adult book.  I have taken to books on CD.  If the CD player in my vehicle is working properly (grr), I can get in a good 45 minutes of listening each day during my commute to and from work.

I’m currently listening to Barbara Kingsolver’s latest novel, Flight Behavior.  I’ve actually been listening to it since December since my CD player is acting up in the cold!  Kingsolver is my favorite author and I just love listening to her voice, as she is the narrator of this title, too.  Sometimes authors aren’t my favorite narrators, but she is definitely an exception.  I really don’t want the book to end.

Once upon a time, I was doing the Couch to 5K running program.  I was up to 30 minutes of continuous running, which seems unbelievable now.  When I get back to that level of fitness (because I will, right?!), maybe I can listen to some Playaways [MP3 players you can check out that are pre-loaded with one book title] while I run.

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In an effort to keep up with the lives of my teenagers, I try to read whatever they’re reading in their English classes.  Not only does it make for some great conversation, but it also gives me a chance to re-visit (or visit for the first time) some classic literature.  The trouble with this goal is the time factor — it isn’t always easy to find the time to sit down and read these often-lengthy tomes, when there are so many other titles stacking up on my to-read list.

Enter the solution to this quandary — the library’s collection of audiobooks!  I recently checked out the audiobook version of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.   And what a treat it was!   For the past few weeks, as I drove to and from work each day, I listened to Sissy Spacek narrate this classic book.   I could hardly wait to drive to work each day!

Have you listened to a good book lately?  What is one  of your favorites?

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