One of the things I always regret packing? Copious paperbacks and magazines. This is double edged sword. I need something to read in transit lest I get annoyed at the old man snoring next to me, or the couple behind me who allows their three small children to climb all over the seats perpetually whining, kneeing me in the back and spewing animal cracker crumbs everywhere. (Damn little kids never share their animal crackers!) INSPIRING ME TO KILL EVERYBODY IN MY MIDST. That and I genuinely enjoy reading. Being in an airport or on a long bus or train ride is just about the only time I have in my adult life to just sit and read for hours on end. I gotta admit I like it. 

 A pair of headphones can help block out the racket, but it cannot bring me to my zen and happy place the way a book can. But books are heavy and once you have read them they are just dead space in your luggage. What’s a voracious reader to do? Invest in audiobooks.

I’m not ready to go 100% digital yet… you won’t see me getting a kindle anytime soon. To me there is just something simple and satisfying about a book and something sad and soulless about being perpetually strapped into an electronic device…. even if you are listening to Shakespeare on it. I like the cheap portability of a book. A book never runs out of batteries. I can support my local independent business when I buy books, instead of supporting itunes or Amazon. And I hate the idea that someday everyone will need a kindle or an ipod to read or listen to books, so reading may become a pastime for only those who can afford gadgets and not the rest of us. Paperbacks, dying instruments in a larger class-war? Or just an old fashioned waste of paper?

Anyway, I digress. I will be downloading at least two audiobooks for my trip. Suggestions, Kiddies?

6 thoughts on “Audiobooks?

    1. Oh, I might try that, Jenn! I’ve been meaning to read it, so if it’s particularly good as an audiobook, I’ll have to go that route.

    1. Gilly, I just finished cross stitch yesterday and it was amazing. I looked into getting the next book on CD but it was something like 17 discs and 33 hours long and I didn’t want that taking up my entire iphone. I will read it in paperback and put a few shorter books on CD on my iphone for the trip.

  1. Listening to the full-cast recording of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is like getting to live in another world for a while — amazing. The acting is top-notch, and Pullman is the narrator. And the audiobook of Zusak’s “Book Thief” is also fantastic production, also a world to be inhabited. My normal method is to check out audiobooks from the library, rip them onto my computer as mp3s and return the discs to library, listen to them at my leisure, and delete the files when I’m done. The Pullman and Zusak books are the only ones where I kept the files instead of deleting them — even though I also own paper copies!

    If there are other YA or children’s books that you were considering listening to, there’s a reasonable chance I’ve listened to them and can tell you how I thought they were. Tim Curry does the Series of Unfortunate Events, for example.

    I listen to audiobooks all the time, and own a Kindle, and as you know have walls and walls of real books. No fear, the Kindle will never replace paper books, any more than audiobooks will. Pretty much for just the reasons you say. I truly do not believe that people will ever have to choose one format over the rest or that digital will replace physical. As a user of all three kinds, I think will all continue to be available, with their different advantages and disadvantages — but if anything the paper book’s likely to outlast the rest, not the other way around.

    1. Ayelle, you are brilliant. I balked at the idea of a $20 audiobook on itunes and thought to myself that there had to be a cheaper way! I never thought of just going to the library!

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