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Reading the Classics: Hey! It’s National Audiobook Month!

Yeah, I know the month is almost over, but a few days remain. And who’s to say I can’t expand a bit and just make 2013 The Year of the Audiobook? I spend a lot of time listening to audiobooks…perhaps more than anyone else I know. I’ve mentioned before that audiobooks accompany me at any time I can possibly fit one in. Laundry, doing the dishes, driving, yard work and date nights that include chick flicks are all great times to do some audiobook listening. Mind you, some of these audiobook events involve well-hidden ear buds and no small amount of acting as if you’re paying attention but they’re great audiobook times nevertheless!

With Audiobook Month in mind, I thought I’d devote this month’s post to audiobooks in general though I did complete a classic from my To-Be-Read list in the effort.  I also thought I’d devote the entire month to one audiobook so I had to choose a big one. And that choice was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Weighing in at 46.3 hours of audiobook time this one was by no means the longest listen I’ve ever given to an audiobook but it was an excellent book (I’ll not bother you with a book report. This is a National Audiobook Month post!) Not the longest, no. My audiobook length record goes to the 60+ hour War & Peace I started this Classics-Reading project with. Luckily both are available at your library in a convenient MP3 format. This really is handy considering that The Count of Monte Cristo would span 37 regular CDs but takes up only 4 MP3 discs. (War & Peace is 48 CDs or 4 MP3s!) And for the epic fantasy fans, several of the George R. R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire books require over 48 hours to listen to!

But you don’t have to be in for the long haul when dealing with audiobooks. There are many in the collection that require less than 12 hours to get through. If you’re into historical fiction, like I am, then maybe the Bernard Cornwell Richard Sharpe series is for you. Some of these are around 10 hours long and they are packed full of adventure, romance and history!

I mention number of discs above, but actually you don’t have to worry about number of discs at all if you just look into the library’s handy digital services! Both One Click Digital and the Sunflower eLibrary offer digital audiobooks for your iPad, Android or other mobile device. True. These digital products can be a bit daunting to new users but never fear! There are great instructional materials/tutorial videos on LPL’s website to get you started. Or library staff can walk you through the steps required to get your smartphone or tablet up and running with a user account and the latest audiobook titles! Even I, a confirmed “book guy”, have become quite the adept user of these digital services though I’m not exactly what you’d call tech savvy.

-Dan Winsky, Acquisitions

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