Whether you are going on the vacation of a lifetime or taking a day trip to the beach, the journey is not always as fun as the destination. When there is nothing left to say and you are tired of the radio, cut through the boredom of your long car ride or flight with an audiobook. Audiobooks are an accessible and alternative way to read books and revisit old favorites, and your summer road trip is the perfect time to give them a try!
Why Read Audiobooks?
We know what you might be thinking: Listening to a book isn’t the same as reading one! But we are here to tell you it is! While the delivery system may be different, listening to an audiobook is just as valid as reading a physical book. In fact, there are many benefits to listening to your books.
Audiobooks are convenient. They allow you to read while doing other activities, like driving, doing chores, or working out. Listening to a book can also introduce new depth to a story, with the narrator’s added emotion, inflection, and accent. And it allows you to share the experience of reading a new book with your friends and family. Why read a book separately, when you can listen and react together in real time? Audiobooks are also a great option for those who might have difficulty reading traditional books or “non-readers” who are hesitant to begin reading.
Still not convinced? Read more about the potential benefits of audiobooks in Book Riot’s 2020 article on the subject, “Listen Up”.
Choosing a Format
At Guthrie Memorial Library, you have plenty of options when it comes to finding audiobooks. The adult and children’s departments each have a collection of Books on CD—that is audiobooks broken into parts across multiple compact disks (or CDs). They are a great option for when you have access to a CD player, like a long car ride. Books on CD are a wonderful way to pass the time on a road trip with little ones, with children’s titles like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Junie B. Jones, or even classics like Frog and Toad, all available in the Guthrie Memorial children’s department. When searching for Books on CD in the catalog, be sure to set your format to “CD Audiobook” if you are looking for physical disks.
If you have a smart device, like a phone or tablet, you can try electronic audiobooks, or e-audiobooks. E-audiobooks are audiobooks recorded just like a Book on CD, but it is all in one file that you can access online with your library card. There are two places you can find e-audiobooks through York County Libraries: Axis360 or Hoopla. To use either, you can download their app onto your device from an app store and sign in using your library card number. Your pin/password will be the last 4 digits of your card number. You can search in each app just as you would the regular library catalog. Once you have found the book you are looking for you can press Check Out/Borrow or Place on Hold. If you expect a poor internet connection on your trip, make sure you download the audiobook while you still have reliable access to WiFi. On Axis360 you will see a button that says “Download”. On Hoopla you will see blue text that reads “Download to your device”. After that, you should be all set!
Finally, we have a collection of audiobooks on devices called Playaways. A Playaway is a small, palm-sized device, like an MP3 player, with a single audiobook loaded onto it. They are a great option if you do not have access to reliable internet or a smart device. Playaways are battery-operated and users can navigate chapters, adjust volume, and so on, using buttons on the front of the device. Batteries are provided, but headphones are not, so you will need to use your own headphones to listen. To search for Playaways in the catalog, be sure to set your format to “Preloaded Audio”.
What To Listen To First:
Ready to try an audiobook, but not sure where to start? Check out the recommendations below:
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