Reading With My Ears

As a reference librarian, I regularly work and answer questions in our AV room. Typically these questions are about movies and tv shows, but a fair number of them are about audiobooks especially when people are traveling throughout the summer and during the holidays.

In the past I was never much of an audiobook listener. I adore listening to music, but just never had much luck with audiobooks. Often while listening my mind would wonder to the long list of things I needed to do or I didn’t find the narrator very engaging. But I also want to be a good advisor; I want to be able to give patrons great recommendations so that that upcoming 10 hour drive is a little easier to get through.

At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to give audiobooks another chance, and it’s going swimmingly! I’ve listened on flights, in the car, at home doing fun things like laundry and cleaning, while working out, and even as I’m working on my latest knitting project. It’s been so much fun to listen to some terrific books and be productive at the same time. The other wondrous part is how much easier it is to access audiobooks these days. We have a large and varied collection throughout our library system, but now you can easily access, check out, and download audiobooks onto your smartphone/tablet thanks to Hoopla and Overdrive. Just go to your app store, search for either (or both – would be my recommendation), sign in, and start exploring!

I’ve already made it through close to 10 books and there is no end in sight. I love reading and always will, but this has opened up a whole new kind of enjoyment for me. A couple favorites so far are A Man Called Ove and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. Both are available on CD as well as on Hoopla and Overdrive. I thoroughly enjoyed these stories about opening oneself up to new experiences and finding love of all kinds in unexpected places.

Also, Mindy Kaling’s humorous storytelling kept me happily engaged and entertained as I did some solo traveling earlier this year. It feels like Mindy is your best gal pal sharing fun and quirky stories from her life.

One last title I’ll share is Shotgun Lovesongs by Nikolas Butler which follows a group of friends in small town America as they grow and change. This one had a number of different narrators, so in a way it was almost like listening to a play. I enjoyed the slightly more intimate quality of it and thought that all of the characters were well portrayed.

So the next time your in the midst of a long road trip, your flight has just been delayed for the second time, or you need something different to listen to during a workout stop by your nearest library or start downloading!

2 comments on “Reading With My Ears

  1. I’ll have to give Shotgun Lovesongs a try on audiobook, I like when the reader really differentiates the character’s voices!

  2. I find that listening to books does required using a different set of skills I too now want to listen to Shotgun Lovesongs to see if it has a play like quality.

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