As many of you may know June is national audio books month.
So, audiobooks. I remember when I was younger renting books on tape from the library and listening to them on drives to and from summer camp. And now that I’m living in a city and using my own two feet to get me around, I’ve been struggling to find a way to consume more books. Short of pulling a Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Bennet and walking while reading, which seems safe in Netherfield Park during the early 1800s, but not as convenient in streets with other people and cars. It was as I was considering the best method to hold books while walking and how often I would need to look up, I fondly remembered listening to audiobooks when I was younger.
Unfortunately, I lost my Walkman in the great Walkman purge of 2000, and portable CD players are too cumbersome to carry around in my pocketless pants, so audiobook listening has changed and I needed to find figure out how to listen to them on my pocket-sized computer. In my research into applications, I focused on the cost of the application, titles available, if it was compatible with my Android phone, and any perks. I looked into nine different applications, as well as my public library, and here are my findings:
I decided to use my public library’s access to OverDrive, mostly because this feels reminiscent of my initial audiobook days, but also because I really need to stop spending money on monthly access fees. So far I just finished listening to Mohsin Hamid’s reading of Exit West and the sound quality seemed of a high-enough quality for my non-audiobuff ears to enjoy. I was able to bookmark moments in the text that I enjoyed and will be going back to; when I left the app it saved my point in the story and picked up seamlessly when I started listening again; and I was able to skip back to skip back in 15-second increments to remind myself of what had been happening.
I have 10 books on hold and need to give myself the time to screen through all of the available listings from my library. In the short amount of time that I’ve been using this application that is the only downside that I’ve found, a lack of instant gratification. It’s been a while since I waited for items to be returned to my library to dive into them; so this should be a nice lesson in patience for myself.