Monday, July 20, 2009

Audio Bookworm

I know this is my third post about books on tape in five months. But I just love the things so much, I can’t stop talking about them. On February 10th, I mensioned that wonderful entity called RFB&D. I can honestly say that RFB&D not only enabled me to make it through college, they also kept me highly entertained for years. But you have to be blind or dyslexic to use there services, so the standerd reader is at a bit of a loss when hoping to make the cross over to listening.

In February, at about the time I made that post about RFB&D, I set a goal for myself of listening to every single audio book available at the Hillsboro Public Library. I listened to all the books at the Lake Oswego Public Library when I was a kid. How hard could it be? Before I even began, the method of systamatically working through all the audio books in alphabetical order seemed fool hardy. I know how to read, and am perfectly capable of reading the dust jackets and picking out books I think I might possibly enjoy.

I have managed to listen to a few good books this way, but the really great books are always checked out. I go to the library about once a week and look over the audio section. There are quite a few books that I’ve noticed once, then never again. Sure I could put them on hold and add my name to the waiting list. But if my goal is to listen to every book, settling for a book that’s actually there feels a lot easier.

I haven’t completely abandoned reading. In the past six months, I’ve “listened” to 22 books. I have also “read” 7 books. Most of the books I really want to read aren’t available in audio format at the library, so I’ve just been borrowing them from friends, or picking them up at Powells. But now I have a new format for aquiring audio books, and I am stoked. I recently joined audio book worm. It is basically netflix for books on cd. You put together a que of books you want to listen to, pay a monthly fee, and the audio books are mailed to your house. When your done, you just mail it back and they send you the next book.

I love this new program and am of course coming up with titles to add to my que much faster than I can listen to them. Audio Book Worm doesn’t have every book ever published in audio format. They only have like 300,000 titles. When I searched the winners of the national book award for the last five years, none of them were available. Apparently there aren’t that many listeners interested in good literature. But they do have the Twilight Series, so I’ll finally be able to hold my own in discussions of pop culture.


Stephanie Faris said...

I've been listening to books on CD for a while now. Like you, I get them from the library. In Nashville I can go online and have them transferred from any library in the county library system and pick them up where I'd like. I'm listening to a Jennifer Crusie one right now. It can be a little tough at times to concentrate while driving but I've found if it's a really good book, I don't tend to get distracted as easily.

Anonymous said...

I think this is an interesting goal! I see from the catalog that the Hillsboro Main Library has over 1100 books on tape and over 1600 books on CD in the adult collections. Since new titles are added every few months, that should keep you entertained for quite a while.

Anonymous said...

The Hillsboro Library webpage is a little less than entirely helpful with its neat, uncluttered layout. You have to go to the Technology folder in the left sidebar to find the link, but the library also offers access to Library2Go, a free audiobook download service.

After years of only offering audiobooks playable on WMA-protected file-capable MP3 players, Library2Go now offers WMA & MP3 files playable on I-Pods.

I suspect you'd be able to find some popular titles available that many other users haven't found yet--because of the initial difficulty of spotting the link and because they don't think of downloading audiobooks in the first place.

Kate said...

Thanks for the tip anon. Library2Go looks awsome!