Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Why not listen?

Summer vacation often brings road trips, long plane flights (not to mention waiting in airports) and other stretches of time when you crave entertainment but want to take a break from focusing on a book. Audiobooks may well be the answer! I listen to audiobooks while driving, cooking and pottering about the house. My daughter and I often sit together peacefully knitting, weaving or doing other crafts while an audiobook plays in the background.

There have been books I had trouble sinking my teeth into in traditional text format that have come to life in the hands (voice?) of the perfect reader. You can find audiobooks read to you by notable actors such as Lynn Redgrave, Simon Jones and Michael York. Some books are even performed by an entire cast of actors.

Research has shown that children's vocabulary is enriched nearly as much by listening to books being read aloud as they are by actually reading. In addition, listening to a book can be the ideal bridge for the child whose comprehension far outstrips his or her reading level. Sharing an audiobook together as a family can also be a great way to spark discussion.

How do you find audiobooks? There are certainly services you can rent them from, however the local public library has a wide selection of books available on cassette, CD or as a downloadable audio file. Locate them this way:

Home > Books & Reading > Browse Books > Browse by Format

Or, in the regular catalog, click on "Limit To" and select "Book on CD/Cassette" or "Player."

Happy listening! Now I'm going back to disk 5 of Carl Hiassen's "Scat" read by Ed Asner!

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