Want to catch up on the classics, but donâ€™t have time? Hoping to learn from the good book, but your hands are full? Addicted to mysteries and working a factory job? Audio books come to the rescue!
â€œIâ€™m a tape worm,â€ said Sue Johnson, an audio book enthusiast. â€œI love books on tape because I donâ€™t have time to read.â€
Many fellow listeners echo that sentiment. Timothy Reep, kitchen manager at the Court Street Grille, enjoys listening to them during his long work day.
â€œTheyâ€™re good entertainment wise,â€ he said.
He also listens to them at home when thereâ€™s nothing good on television and during his commute to work.
â€œYou canâ€™t do that with a book â€“ youâ€™ll run into someone,â€ he said.
Reepâ€™s not the only one who enjoys audio books. Their popularity has steadily increased in the United States since the mid â€˜80s.
When Lesley Levine, library director, first started her job in 1983, Lincolntonâ€™s library had 12 audio books sitting between two bookends.
â€œNow, they wrap around, theyâ€™re on the turn style, theyâ€™re up on top,â€ she said.
Levine is happy about the growing popularity of these books.
â€œItâ€™s brought a lot of folks back to the world of literature,â€ she said.
Every genre is represented in the collection â€“ Star Wars series, romances by Danielle Steele, science fiction thrillers, South American epics and mysteries with â€œCatâ€ in the title.
You can also catch up on classics such as â€œWuthering Heights,â€ â€œPride and Prejudiceâ€ and â€œAnimal Farm.â€
The Bible is available in audio book form as are religious texts and analysis.
Levine has noticed that there are two camps when it comes to audio book lovers â€“ abridged and unabridged.
â€œYou do not have one foot in each,â€ she said.
Sheâ€™s also noticed that certain work places rely heavily on books on tape for entertainment â€“ especially people working on assembly lines.
â€œThereâ€™s a designated person coming in to pick up the tapes,â€ she said.
Two weeks later another employee checks out the next time-passing novel for the group.
Truck driving is another profession that can make good use of audio books. People with vision problems, most notably the elderly, also enjoy what audio books offer.
Listening to them before you go to sleep, however, isnâ€™t necessarily the best idea.
â€œThey donâ€™t call them bedtime stories for nothing,â€ said Levine.
Audio books can also cause a problem once you reach your destination. Levine remembers sitting in her car after hours of driving to a conference. She just wasnâ€™t quite ready get out.
â€œI didnâ€™t want to leave the heroine,â€ she said.
Sadly, she had to attend the conference not knowing the characterâ€™s fate. That part of the story came on the ride home. by Sarah Grano