Column: Appreciation for audiobooks is growing


Nicole Fowles - Glad You Asked



June celebrates many national and more obscure holidays. You might have celebrated National Donut day earlier this month. According to the National Endowment for the Humanities, we also celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month in June. One of my favorite facts I just learned is that June is Audiobook Appreciation Month.

The Audio Publishers Association recently conducted a survey, which revealed that the audiobook has seen more growth in recent years than ever before. Studies from Edison Research find that last year 24 percent of Americans (more than 67 million people) completed at least one audiobook.

Other interesting facts point to the listeners behind the audiobooks. Almost half are under 35, most who listen to audiobooks also are frequent podcast listeners, and the majority of listeners finished an average of 15 books in the past year, agreeing that “audiobooks help you finish more books.”

Part of the reason why more books are finished is because they can be listened to while multitasking. Twenty-nine percent of listeners say they use their smartphone to listen, and they’re listening while they’re at home doing housework, baking, exercising or crafting. Others listen in their vehicles on their commutes.

Thankfully, libraries remain the major access channels and drivers of audiobook discovery. Popular genres mirror those in traditional paperback books: mysteries, thrillers suspense, science fiction, fantasy, and romance.

In addition to all the benefits listed above, I’m an audiobook fan because I enjoy the added performance that a reader can give a book. Some very talented audiobook readers can give characters new life and added enjoyment to the overall story.

Here are some recent and favorite releases on the DCDL audiobook shelves.

“Orphans of the Carnival” by Carol Birch, narrated by Heather Wilds. Vilified and celebrated for a facial disfigurement from hypertrichosis, Julia, an accomplished musician, dancer, and rider capable of speaking three languages makes her fortune touring the world before meeting a man who may love her or only want her for her fame.

“Moral Defense” by Marcia Clark, narrated by Angela Dawe. Samantha Brinkman is hired as the legal advocate for Cassie Sonnenberg after a brutal stabbing left her father and brother dead, and her mother barely clinging to life, in a case that has Samantha identifying with her young client — perhaps a little too much.

“The Glass Universe” by Dava Sobel, narrated by Cassandra Campbell. Shares the story of the scientific contributions of a group of women working at the Harvard College Observatory from the late 1800s through the mid-twentieth century, tracing their collection of star observations captured nightly on glass photographic plates.

“Forty Autumns” by Nina Willner, narrated by Cassandra Campbell. A former American military intelligence officer traces the experiences of five women in her family who were separated by the Iron Curtain for more than 40 years and who endured terrifying Communist rule before being reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at nfowles@delawarelibrary.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at nfowles@delawarelibrary.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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