Back in the olden days, books in the library were available only in paper format.
This is a wonderful format for transmitting ideas in many situations – doesn’t require battery recharging, easy to see in bright sunshine, less likely to be destroyed if accidentally dropped into the tub when reading. It’s stable, and with proper handling can last for many years.
But now we have all sorts of good opportunities to help people read books!
Content is the key; format is a choice. Books are more than their formats; format is just a way to transmit ideas.
I am an enormous audiobook reader. A format more ancient than paper for transmitting stories, sharing ideas verbally continues to be a good way to read books.
When you are doing Reader’s Advisory (RA) work in audio formats, it’s important to know about the reader. A good reader, or a group of readers, can make the book come to life; a bad one can kill any hope of enjoying a book. I don’t know that I would have stayed with Ender’s Game if I was reading in on paper; but the audio version definitely kept me going! I have listened to books I would not have considered, except they were read by Scott Brick, Lorelei King, or George Guidall – award winning readers, and voices I really enjoy across all kinds of books.
You can listen to books as you walk your dog, as you do dishes, as you drive to work, or as you set at your computer doing monotonous and repetitive work. The flexibility of audiobooks means you can get more reading done than if you had to just sit in one place and read. For an omnivorous book reader (raising my hand here!), audiobooks have a good place in my daily reading schedule.
A few audiobook RA tools and some advice:
- Listening Advisory? What’s That?
- NoveList: Introducing Audiobook Recommendations
- Listen Up! Audiobook Readers’ Advisory Program Slides
- Audio Publishing Association: The 2017 Audie Awards!
- AudioFile: Find your next great book
- Reader’s Advisory for Audiobooks (What are YOU reading? blog)
- Goodreads: Well-Read Audiobooks
- Mediatore, K. (2003). Reading with Your Ears: Readers’ Advisory and Audio Books. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 42(4), 318-323.
Check out Overdrive’s services through your local library, or buy books from audible.com (or other sources); and discover the joys of reading audiobooks today!
Any suggestions for good places to start in reading? Any RA tips for audiobooks? Share them below!