Monday, July 30, 2012

Five good reasons to listen to audio books

Selection of MP3 audio books at the Lawrence Public Library
photo by William Ottens

More than ever before, we have options for how we can read books. When it comes to audio books, there is no middle ground;  people either love'em or they hate'em.  

The argument for audio books

1. Sometimes we actually get to hear authors read their own works, giving a window and insight into the author's intentions.   We can hear how poets perform their famous works, such as Allen GInsberg's Howl

2. Audio can force listeners to hear content they may have skipped over.  For instance, in Bolano's 2666, description of each and every brutal murder in Book Five is tediously read, whereas many readers may skim the details. 

3. We can hear how the reader sings songs in audio. In this audio recording of The Lord of the Rings seriesRob Inglis skillfully invents melodies to song of elves, Tom Bombadil, and others that many people skip over.  In Angela's Ashes, we hear Frank McCourt sing the obscure Irish songs from his youth. 

4. We can discover how to really say the names of Dostoyevsky's Russian characters. 

5. Access is easy with audio.  If you have an I-pod, you probably have access to an online store where you can immediately download your choice from a huge catalog of books.  According to William Ottens of the Lawrence Public Library, you can now download audio books from the State Library Site using these instructions:

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