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Audio books available at the library

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OFF THE SHELF

Jennifer Kasch, Librarian

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Did you know that nearly one-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks? That’s according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January 2018. Audiobooks are highly portable and they’re great for multitasking. You can listen to them while exercising, commuting, or doing tasks around the house.

They also make the perfect companion if you are planning to travel during the holiday break. Best of all, you can check them out at any of our Madison College Libraries.

Our libraries’ collections include non-fiction and fiction titles for you to explore. Some more recent non-fiction acquisitions include Michael Pollan’s “How to Change Your Mind,” “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” by Michelle McNamara, and “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Recent fiction titles include Stephen King’s “The Outsider,” “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee, and “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn. Having a book read aloud to you can add dimension to the story.

Audiobooks are often read by seasoned voice actors, the book’s author, or sometimes even well-known celebrities. For instance, we have the audiobook of “Norse Mythology,” read by the author Neil Gaiman. Our copy of “The Alchemist” is read by the well-known actor Jeremy Irons. “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” by George R.R. Martin is read by the actor Harry Lloyd, who also played Viserys Targaryen in the first season of the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” There are many such examples in our collection. And an excellent reader or narrator can make the story or information that much more enjoyable.

Audiobooks can also improve active listening skills, expand your vocabulary, and improve pronunciation. Not surprisingly, auditory learners may be especially drawn to them. Another unique aspect of this format is that they can be shared as a group experience, such as during a road trip or while preparing a family meal. This may lead to an opportunity to discuss the content and learn other viewpoints and interpretations.

Audiobook CDs and playaways (standalone mp3 players with a pre-loaded audiobook) are interfiled with print books in our regular library collection. To search the audiobook collection in our online library catalog, choose Advanced Search from the library homepage. From there you can limit your search to the audiobook format. You can also ask a librarian at your Madison College library, and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect title.

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