Friday, May 11, 2012

Audiobooks::. Now popular?

Audiobooks have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My very first "Audiobooks" were mom reading "Millions of Cats", Snow White and various other kids stories into a microphone into a large tape recorder to record her voice on tape (while us kids tried to be quiet as we sat and watched). Then we would listen to her read us stories as we went to bed.

Genius right? Clearly mom missed out big because it was around that time (mid 1980s) that "the audio publishing business grew to several billion dollars a year in retail value" (src). If only she had thought, hey this is a great idea, I'm going to invest in this we might be living large, lol. In fact, my Grandfather got in on this audiobooks thing too for the library recording books onto tape for the blind.

My first non-mom-recorded audiobooks (that I remember well) are Mr. Poppers Penguins and Fantastic Mr. Fox... both of which have had movies come out; funny huh? Oh and you have no idea how excited I was when I learned those movies were coming out because growing up, I just about knew those books by heart.

The next two stories that come to mind have bugged me for a few years now because I only sort of remember them, but I know I listened to those all the time. One was a mermaid story set in Holland and I distinctly remember "swept out to sea, swept out to sea". The other was set in 1800s or early 1900s and had something to do with an apple orchard.

But I've had a breakthrough, (don't laugh because I'm super excited). I just tracked down the mermaid one! Hansy's Mermaid by Trinka Hakes Noble. This popped into my mind randomly so today I googled, "swept out to sea" mermaid Holland dykes and I FOUND IT! It's funny how some things stick with you. I totally remember it now. But initially all I could remember was "swept out to sea, swept out to sea".

(Woo hoo, as I was looking for an image for Hansy's Mermaid, I saw a picture for Apple Tree Christmas... and yup, I just found the 2nd story that has bugged me!)

As a family, we would drive from New Jersey to Illinois and Kentucky every summer and guess what we did on the road trips, well other than eat snacks, play game boy, and bug my brothers? Yup, listen to Audiobooks. Louis L'Amour when we were younger and graduating to Stephen King as we got older... it's just a thing we did. And still do. People (for the most part) always made fun of us or at least giving a weird looks.

UNTIL NOW, apparently.

In the past week or so I have been bombarded with the knowledge that people (that I know!) are listening to audiobooks all the time.

It started last weekend in North Carolina where a bunch of college friends were hanging around after the kids had gone to bed and the subject of audiobooks came up. It turns out that most of the people there listen to audiobooks in the car, traveling, etc. Interesting.

So then we get home and while watching TV this past week I have seen the commercial for at least a dozen times. They are running a promo that you can get a 30 day trial and download an audiobook to try out. This is actually what I did last week because hubby wanted to listen to Hunger Games book 2 and I was like 65th on the library wait list.
The website was super easy to use and I had no problem transferring the book to my Zune. On this commercial they have people actors saying they listen to books because they don't have time to read (yup, that's me), and they listen in the car (yup), at the gym (yes.. and I get weird looks when I tell people this one), around the house, etc.

So this is the cool thing to do now? Sweet!



  1. Stevie - I am in LOVE with! When I was living in DC it was the best because I could listed to books on my long commute and they are great for workouts and walking the dog too.

  2. Hi Stevie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris


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