By Amy Mann
WCPL Children’s Services
WARSAW — Reading and summer travel. Those two things can go together, but not if you’re the driver. Or can it?
June is audiobook month, and the staff at WCPL are ready to celebrate it with you. Audiobooks are a component of the summer reading program for both children and adults. Sign up at the library or online at warsawlibrary.org. The summer reading program runs from June 1 to July 31 this year, and the theme is “Tails and Tales,” books about animals. You can read about other things, as well, though. The sky’s the limit.
Did you know that 85% of learning comes from listening? Listening comprehension improves reading comprehension, so come in and check out books on CD or Playaway, or search through the many online resources. Audiobooks are especially helpful for reluctant readers, auditory learners and people with busy summer schedules. The top three activities while listening to audiobooks, from a 2018 study by the Audio Publisher’s Association, are driving, relaxing before going to sleep and doing housework or chores. Smartphones and smart speakers make it easy to listen all over your living space and beyond.
Audiobooks began at the dawn of the recording of the human voice. Thomas Edison, who was himself hearing-impaired, thought of phonographic books for those who couldn’t see to read. The 60- minute audiocassette, developed in the 1970s, made recordings available for longer books than the phonograph had been providing. Millions of people now use CDs to connect to the world of books, especially when sitting down with a physical volume is impractical or impossible.
WCPL now carries Wonderbooks and picture books with attached playback devices, as well as bagged books, which are children’s books with corresponding CDs or Playaways (think of it as an MP3 player loaded with one story). Or find one of the audio resources and pair it with a printed book yourself to make a DIY set.
Celebrating Audiobook Month is simple. Find your favorite book, or maybe a soon-to-be favorite, in an audio format and listen to it on your way to a summer destination, while you’re waiting for someone or when you’re just relaxing. You can read alone or with others, depending on whether you use headphones or speakers.