Off the Shelf

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. – Author Unknown


Dana Ryals, Librarian

People who read a lot are more likely to be successful in their careers and lives in many ways, according to an article found on, which identified ten of these benefits. 

Readers are shown to have increased focus, are goal setters, and spend time wisely.  Readers have perspective, are reflective, and have incredible writing and speaking skills. Readers have increased memory, stay fresh with new ideas, and are educated and informed. 

Perhaps one of the more surprising benefits of reading is that readers choose to read to relax rather than partaking in other potentially harmful habits such as recreational drugs or alcohol, which leads to long-term health benefits.  Also, readers tend to have a fabulous vocabulary and an active imagination.

Perhaps the best aspects of being a reader is that because of libraries, anyone who can borrow and return an item within a reasonable time period while being respectful of the shared property can borrow books, music, and other things for free. 

Libraries are one of the few places left in our busy culture where you are not expected to buy anything. 

There is so much value in simply enjoying a book, but not all of us have time to sit back and relax.

That is why I would like to take a moment to remind everyone that audiobooks are a time-honored solution to this problem.  Audiobooks can be enjoyed during a commute, while washing dishes or folding laundry, and during other quite tasks. 

It is a wonderful way to both relax and engage your mind while knocking out a few chores in the process. 

The Madison College Libraries make finding audiobooks easy, offering over 700 audiobooks to choose from in a wide array of topics. A few highlights include:

  • Self-help: Dalai Lama, Brene Brown.
  • Languages: Arabic, English, Japanese, French, Italian, Lakota, Spanish.
  • Fiction: Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Fault in our Stars.
  • Poetry: Edgar Allan Poe, The Illiad, The Odyssey,  Poeta in Nueva York.
  • History: Sapiens, A People’s History of the United States, Code Girls, Between the World and Me.
  • Famous authors such as Russell Brand, Michelle Obama, Gillian Flynn, Nicholas Sparks, Stieg Larsson, and Stephen King, to name a few.

Audiobooks come in both physical and digital formats. They can be checked out from any Madison College campus whenever open.  Students and staff can place a hold on a book online and pick it up at any of our campuses.

This winter, I would like to urge you to try something different. Jump into another person’s life, learn a new skill, or open doors you haven’t peeked into before. Audiobooks do not need to take up any time and can give us all the benefits that readers enjoy.

Checking out the audiobooks in the library could be a life changing experience, and one that won’t cost any time or money.