Saturday, March 16, 2013

Audiobooks for the Multi-Tasking Reader

Living in the fast lane can be pretty stressful, especially for an avid reader who struggles to find time to sit down and enjoy a good read. When you find yourself needing that special "me"-time amidst tons of schoolwork or house chores or corporate reports, perhaps it's time to go digital with your favorite pastime.

Audiobooks grew in demand after the technology of recording audio had been discovered and cheaper means of sound recording had become available in the market. The first recorded audiobooks were intended for the visually-impaired; most of these early audiobooks were education-related, standing in direct competition with radio programs which were audio media but intended for entertainment.

At present, there are three major formats for audiobooks, each with its own relative advantage:

>> Cassette Tape audiobook - these are the first audiobook formats to be mass-released. While their use have dropped in the years following the rise of the digital age, cassette tape audiobooks are still in circulation and are considered rare finds for serious collectors.

>> Compact Disc audiobook - CD audiobooks have become a highly-marketable add-on to most books that were published in the late '90s and early 2000s. Most books that were translated into audiobooks were nonfiction works spanning topics from business to personal development.

>> Downloadable audiobook - the newest format of audiobooks to be released, these digitally-formatted versions allowed the production and distribution of major works of fiction in this format.

Of the three formats, the most popular and most convenient version is the third one. Among its greatest appeal is its convenience.

Digital audiobooks win, hands-down, over other formats in terms of getting hold of a copy, using it, and storing it. There are many ready-to-download audiobooks online, and the first place you can go looking for an audio version of your favorite book is an online bookstore. Most publication houses also release audiobook versions of their latest bestsellers...speaking of which, you can also check the websites of publication houses since they usually have online catalogs where you can see the availability of any particular book's alternative format that you can purchase. Alternative formats like eBooks and audiobooks usually cost more than the print copy, but they pack the punches, so to speak, because of their additional features not present in your traditional paperback.

You can download audiobooks to your iPhone, iPod, or other audio-playing devices. Storing your audiobooks is also easy considering its size (which rarely reach gigabytes) and ease of indexing. Basically, you can treat your audiobook downloads the way you treat your music files on your computer or audio-players. This means that, much like books, you can have the option of rewinding and replaying the book to suit your needs. Also, depending on the memory size of your device, you can save up to hundreds of books that you can listen to whether you're on travel or while getting some routine chores and errands done.

An extra bonus for readers: once you start listening, you will be amazed at how your favorite literary works come to life as voice acting adds another rich story-telling layer to the narrative. Download audiobooks now and experience a new way of getting through your reading list!

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