Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Audiobooks & I

Most of the book that I read nowadays are in audiobook format. My two sources for them are Librivox.org and audible.com. I got into these sites when I had health problems some years back and their content has been a blessing ever since. Audiobooks let me get more reading done because, although listening to them is slower than actually reading the printed words, you can fit more of them by listening at odd times, say on the gym or while driving; you don't get demotivated by the prospect of getting through a large printed work, which can be intimidating when you first look at it and feel its weight; and because (I concluded this recently) the flow of the narrative is easier by listening than by fixing your gaze on a page; at least, this is true for me.

The Librivox site is my first stop when looking for audio books because all of their titles are free of charge. This is possible because volunteers read out of copyright books meaning you get most of the classics up to somewhere around the 1920s; there's Lovecraft for instance, but not all of his works. Some of the readers do have poor voices, but you can mostly get by with some patience.

Audible on the other hand is up to date with the latest titles and bestsellers. They do not have everything, but you're very likely to find what you're looking for or close. The site works through credits which you buy beforehand and apply them to the book of your choice. Depending on the plan, you could potentially get almost any title for less than $10 which favorably compares with a printed book. Plus, you get it right away by download. And that's not all: you also get a complementary subscription either to the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times in audio format (about 40 min. per day with the top news and most important articles), and what seems almost weekly offers and sales only available for members. The sales let me get even more value for my subscription. I should mention that you could select the title à la carte, but that's expensive.

I listen to my audio books on an iPod.

Many of the books that I will be reviewing in the future will come from these sites. If you have not seen these I would advise you to take a look.


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