10 October, 2018
Often, we have seen that people who love reading, give up on their love for reading, simply because, they are unable to read easily in the old age. The idea of holding a book and focusing on reading, especially with a failing eyesight, could indeed be a big challenge. Arthritis may also make it difficult to hold a book for long. The solution to these issues might have been the new age technology in the form of digital books or e-books. However, for many in the older generation, reading is still linked to books, and they are not comfortable with the likes of Kindle, despite it having eye-soothing effects. So, the solution for such people is the audiobooks.
What are audiobooks?
Audiobooks are a kind of book, that reads itself to you. So, in a sense, like listening to a song, you would instead listen to a book reading. You have the option of listening to the whole book as it is, just as if you read it. Or, you may choose to go for an abridged version as well. Audiobooks, are slowly becoming popular now, but are not actually a new concept. These were introduced by the American Association for the Blind, as way back as 1931, called then as the Talking Books Program. At the time, recordings were made in studios, Caedmon Records, which established at the time, is said to be a pioneer in the audiobook industry.
Audiobooks in that sense will have a narrator, the one who reads the books. As such, with the advent of technology, audiobooks are now being recorded even in the homes of many people. In fact, if you are good at reciting, it is a rather lucrative option to work from home, as many companies are seeking good narrators to help them record books, as there is a huge demand for such books now.
Well, you can’t really read a book and multitask at the same time. However, if you are listening to an audiobook, you can do some other chore like gardening or cooking or sewing, etc. Your eyes won’t have any strain; you can retain your love of books and read the book in a sense, without troubling your aging eyes more. It may be better to listen with a good, nice pair of headphones if you do not want to disturb others.
Where to find them?
Audiobooks are available in most bookstores, including online ones, in various digital formats. If you would like to get some free audiobooks, you could try out options like LibriVox app for Android or iOS, Project Gutenberg (http:www.gutenberg.org). You will also find a category of the human read as well as machine read here! http://www.openculture.com/freeaudiobooks is another site that you can check out. If you search online, you will find many other sites like Audible, where you may find a few which focus on old English classics, etc. In India, this concept is still picking up, and the scene is set to change going forward.
However, many children’s stories are now coming out as audiobooks, especially as parents are busy and are unable to read out to the kids. Podiobooks, Lit2Go, ThoughtAudio, Librophile, etc. are a few other places that you can check out.
If you love to listen to some regional language books, you may have choices in that as well. There is now even a subscription service called Storytel, which has tied up with Indian publishers to make their books available on their platform as audio books. They already have 60 Hindi titles available, and many more are in the offing. So, check out the options available in audiobooks, and continue with your love of reading and books.
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