Fact - The popularity of audio books is exploding. It has been estimated that in 2008 sales in the UK alone could reach £125 million; annual growth has been running at 20%+ across Europe and the UK, and is thought to be even faster in the USA who still tend to be 1-2 years ahead in online trends and uptake of technology (come on Europe!) But how can we explain this explosive growth of audio book editions of thousands of previously mainly paper only books? What is it that makes them more than just a convenient way to "read" a book? Why are they so much more popular than cassette and CDs audio books which were around for years but never really went beyond best sellers in terms of book availability? 1) TIME - You save time, because you can listen to an audio book anywhere and everywhere, even while doing other things at the same time, for example when driving to and from work, walking the dog, cycling, jogging, working around the house or at the computer, gardening, working out, and so on. The list is endless. You Kill dead time! A recent survey indicated that in the USA the average person is driving an average of 73 minutes daily; this adds up to over 440 hours per year, or 11 full-time working weeks. Just imagine how many books you could read in that time, simply by having an MP3 player and a supply of audio books! Imagine as well that you use this time, at least in part, to listen to educational audio books? Maybe start to learn a language or improve work related skills.
Wow - Think of the hundreds of hours that can now be turned to potentially very profitable or emotionally fulfilling use. 2) LOVE READING BUT.We all know the saying that time is the great enemy and it's true! Many of us love reading but find we don't have enough time to read as much as we'd like. If you love reading but don't have enough time, audio books can give you the opportunity to read many more books than you would otherwise have time for. We've covered some of the occasions above; audio books are just a great way to fill those" dead" or tedious mindless chore periods we all have in our day to day lives. Plus, unlike Cassettes and CD's, audio books on Mp3's are so much smaller.
There are so many more situations they can be used where CDs used to jump about, were too big or just couldn't deal with the environment e.g., you can even get waterproof Mp3 players now or players built into Sunglasses! 3) People who find it hard to read Audio books are ideal for older people who may find reading tedious or tiring; equally for sick people, those recovering from sickness or disabled, and can be a wonderful gift for someone in a nursing institution. This is a gift they can remember and enjoy time after time.
Audiobooks can be a Godsend for partially sighted or blind people. Everyone should have the chance to experience and enjoy books and in many cases, this is the only way for such people to do so. 5) Among the most important skills a child can ever acquire is undoubtedly the ability to read, and audio books can be easily used to stimulate literacy in children; for example they can listen while following the story in the paper book, or even simply listen just to gain and improve vocabulary and communication skills. If you want to "program in" your child the love of reading, audio books can be an brilliant aid. These are just a few of the many benefits , but even these few provide many good reasons for entering the exciting world of spoken books.
From London, Nick now lives in Sweden Lena his wife, and Gunnar a fluffy Border Terrier. He likes long walks which he combines with learning Swedish from audio books. He runs Myaudiobookshelf.com where you'll find 8000+ audio books to download and links to a vast but little known network of free audio book websites. .Sign up to his email list or download an audio book and you'll get the full list.