Hearing Harry Potter

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

One of the cool things about my job, as I've mentioned before, is that I'm the one who tracks down and pulls the tape you sometimes hear during the othewise-live show. This includes movie clips, press conference audio, tape from last night's Colbert Report... you name it. It can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack — sometimes I'm just directed to find a "good exchange" between two people in hours of SCOTUS tape or hill testimony — but there's generally something interesting to be found. Sometimes the only truly fun moment is the a-ha!... But sometimes the whole thing is fun, like today. For our segment on audio books, poor Sarah had the rotten task of listening to Jim Dale reading — nay, performing — the seventh Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I've already read the book, so it was a treat (and I didn't have to worry about spoilers) to listen to him channeling each character, from the evil, hissing he-who-must-not-be-named to Harry himself. I haven't listened to an audio book since the days of checking out tapes in ziploc hanging bags from the children's section at my library, but they're all the rage these days... do you listen? How is it like or unlike reading the book? Do you ever both read and listen to the same book?

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I discovered audio books earlier this year! They actually make driving a pleasure. Listening to a good book makes all the headches from rush hour traffic disappear. I just finished "Tatooed Girl" by Joyce Carol Oates--I barely wanted to get out of the car before I finished it.

Sent by Catherine Calder | 3:11 PM | 8-22-2007

Two of the best readings I've ever heard are Lolita read (unabridged) by Jeremy Irons and "Of Mice and Men" read (performed, really) by Gary Sinise. Both are fully the equal or any other performance medium. Remarkable.

Sent by Gene Endres | 3:12 PM | 8-22-2007

When the first Harry Potter came out I read it outloud to my daughter. Even though she is now 17, she still wants to hear me read Harry Potter outloud. She actually likes my reading more than she likes the films. We cry and laugh and bite our nails together. It is pure joy.

Sent by Leslie Caplan | 3:12 PM | 8-22-2007

Because a book is read word for word, listening can be a much "closer" read than reading the book, where I usually skip words, and even whole sections.

Sent by vivalacat | 3:14 PM | 8-22-2007

Anything written and read by Neil Gaiman is worth the money and the time. I listened to "Fragile Things" and read it both. Mr Gaiman is a great reader of his own books.

Sent by George from Oregon | 3:16 PM | 8-22-2007

I'm a literature major and absolutely love to read, but audio books fill in the gaps between my quiet reading times. There is nothing like listening to David Sedaris's "Naked", "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" while cleaning the house or jogging. Sedaris and his sister, Amy do a range of hilarious voices and I can listen to the same stories over and over and get something new every time. I can laugh out loud while scrubbing the commode - an uncommon combination.

Sent by Ty Jacobson | 3:16 PM | 8-22-2007

I highly recommend Joan Hickson reading the Miss Marple Agatha Christie's.
Her voice and skill is highly elegant and compelling.

Sent by Thomas Weston | 3:17 PM | 8-22-2007

My family has listened to all the "Harry Potter" books multiple times. It has enhanced the whole experence as a family and has contrubted to "Harry" being a group event. We have done this with other books too but Jim Dale is the best.

Sent by Leslie Cady | 3:17 PM | 8-22-2007

As a regular listener to audio books, I have a HUGE pet peeve. I hate abridged books, but the peeve is that abridged books are not easily recognized. Usually not labelled as such, and I can't tell you how many times I've written to Amazon, because it does not identify whether an audio book is abridged or unabridged. I can't believe that libraries, like mine, fill their stacks with abridged books.

Sent by armando Menocal | 3:17 PM | 8-22-2007

I work full time, have a three year old and take 9 hours of classes in college. In order to find the time to study, I bought a digital voice recorder and record myself reading the chapters so that I can listen to them in the car, or when I am doing house work. It really helps to get in some study time, when otherwise I would have to be up late reading. I love the idea of audio books, and information. People are strapped for time, and this allows us to soak up knowledge, even when time doesn't allow us to set down with a book.

Sent by Kassie | 3:17 PM | 8-22-2007

I think that listening to books that are read by the author such as "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by Dave Sedaris definitely provides a better experience than just reading it alone because it really allows the author's voice to come through in more ways than one.

Sent by Shawn Rutledge | 3:18 PM | 8-22-2007

I recommend Librivox.org. Librivox is an online community of people that read poems, stories, and books in the public domain for podcasts.

Sent by Jenny B. in Tucson, AZ | 3:19 PM | 8-22-2007

Re audiobooks versions: it can depend on the material being read. I have heardl for example,
Tracey Kidder's House on audio and I have
read it. The two experiences were different.
And I appreciated more the parts in audio where Kidder was the fly on the wall when discussions were going on and very much more the printed
page when architectural history was being covered.

Sent by Elise Bodtke | 3:19 PM | 8-22-2007

My favorite narrator is George Guidall, whose voice subtley distinguishes each character. While I'll listen to just about anything he's recorded, my favorites are the Tony Hillerman "Navajo mysteries".

Sent by Stan Mathews | 3:20 PM | 8-22-2007

The oral traditioni (Homer, etc.) has shaped my writing and I have always felt that listening to some stories is better than reading them because the story was written as if it is being read. Many short stories and first-persons seem to fit this criteria.

Sent by Adam Hosterman | 3:21 PM | 8-22-2007

Hearing about how some books are now being produced first as an audio book reminds me of when I was an undergraduate in Radio-TV at Ohio State. I was there in the mid-60's and we had a professor at the time who kept saying that radio drama would come back. We scoffed. Perhaps we shouldn't have.

Sent by Mike Flynn | 3:21 PM | 8-22-2007

My family love listening to audio books when we are in the car. The latest hit that my 10 year old son and I enjoyed was Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- He had read it, but this time hearing all the dialogue really made it more understandable and come alive. I found it much more humorous than I had remembered reading it as a youth.

Sent by Holly Howard | 3:22 PM | 8-22-2007

Let's not forget the great stuff at "Teaching Company," my latest, greatest discovery. Okay, they can be challenging, but they're entire courses taught by professors who know how to present the material. Thanks to the early emperors of Rome, to Constantinople, to Emerson and Thoreau, to American political ideas, my long car journeys across West Texas have been made enormously interesting.

Sent by Sarah | 3:23 PM | 8-22-2007

I've been an avid reader for my entire life, but I find that I don't retain what I hear when I listen to an audiobook. Certainly not like when I read a book. It's a shame, because I drive 40,000 miles a year as part of my job!

Sent by Mike | 3:24 PM | 8-22-2007

Any book that is read by Barbara Rosenblatt - she has the most distinct voices and inflections for the different characters than ANY reader I've heard. I even forget that the male characters are read by a female!

Sent by Sarah May | 3:25 PM | 8-22-2007

Tape is a great way to catch up on classics. You can't miss with Shakespeare on tape, except Henry the 5th, which tends to promote aggressive driving. BBC has an excellent series. And hearing Ian McClellan read The Odyssey really opened me up to what Homer is all about, though again it's not the best tape to listen to when driving to work since one wants to keep on driving in pursuit of Sirens and Cyclops and other adventures.

Sent by Vince Donovan | 3:27 PM | 8-22-2007

I'm a working mom with little free time. I enjoy listening to audio books while I drive. The narrator is so important - I truly believe they can make or break the success of an audio book. My favorite series is 'The burglar...' books by Lawrence Block. The New York accents come across so much better on audio than in my imagination when I read!!! It's also sometimes easier to digest non-fiction books on audio vs. reading them.

Sent by Tammy M. | 3:27 PM | 8-22-2007

Sedaris' books are the best - probably since he reads them.

Sent by John Eldred | 3:29 PM | 8-22-2007

My first encounter with audio books was checking out "Lord Jim" from the library at the start of a cross-country orad trip. The narrator was sonorous (in a bad way) and sooo boring!. But my wife and I have stuck with it. David Sedaris reading his short stories will make you laugh out loud. Midnight in the Garden of good and evil was brilliant to listen to. My all-time favorite is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Sent by David Goodyke | 3:29 PM | 8-22-2007

What affect does the listening to audio books, as opposed to reading, have on one's ability to comprehend written material? In essence, doesn't one who relies on audio material prevent their enhancement of their critical reading skills.

Sent by Daniel | 3:31 PM | 8-22-2007

ILove Audio Books...
The DiscWorld Books by Terry Pratchett are better then Harry Potter.
The Audio Versions are Great.

Sent by Gerard C. Tucker | 3:34 PM | 8-22-2007

It was a sad day when Books on Tape, which operated much like Netflix, abruptly decided not to rent to individuals. Almost overnight, they sold their extensive collection of tapes and CDs. This has drastically reduced a listener's selection to what our local libraries can afford to purchase. I'm still a fan, especially of books that are plot-driven. Humor such as John Mortimer's Rumpole novels is particularly emphasized on tape. I think American readers (like Scott Brick) need more air time so more of an audience can come to appreciate their brilliance.

Sent by Jane D. Wallen | 3:35 PM | 8-22-2007

Why would an actor perform an audiobook? What a dumb question! Plays and screenplays are written before they are performed. When I "read" an unabridged audiobook, I experience the entire book, not an abridgement written by someone other than the author.

BTW, your guest is a poor reader. She is too slow. I have abandoned many a-books for reading too slowly.

Sent by Peter Cant | 3:37 PM | 8-22-2007

I've listened to hundreds, maybe thousands, of audio books. I look up my favorite narrators at the library and request anything they have read. George Guidell, Frank Muller, CJ Critt and Barbara Rosenblatt are superb. Barbara Kingsolver reading "Poisonwood Summer" is among the best.

Sent by Britta Tigan | 3:41 PM | 8-22-2007

Great topic, especilly since I just started listening again this last weekend to what I consider to be the best recorded book ever, Nicol Williamson's reading of the Hobbit(1974). As with the Harry Potter book Williamson reads every character and endows each with spot-on accents and personalities! A real delight!

Sent by kristi Appelhans | 3:42 PM | 8-22-2007

I read "Lord of the Rings" trilogy again before the Fellowship..." was released a few years ago. I listened to all of the unabr abooks before the following two movies were released. Although I love the unabr. movies, I loved the books more. My mental images surpassed what could be shown on the screen.

Sent by Peter Cant | 3:45 PM | 8-22-2007

Listening to Ruby Dee read Zora Thurston's poetic narrative explains why I listen to audio books. She interprets the voices of the author in a way I do not when I reading on my own. I also like to hear the appropriate accent as I did listenig to A Thousand Splendid Suns and Reading Lolita in Tehran. I listen to books because I am a voracious reader and can't read everything I want. I belong to a classic's book club and will usually alternate my reading of one book with listening to another. I wonder if there are awards given to performers of audio books? I think the best I've heard is Ron Silver and American Pastoral by Phillip Roth. He seems to be the perfect narrator of the books of Roth.

Sent by Marsha Thom | 3:45 PM | 8-22-2007

Most printed books in bookstores are abridged. If they don't say "Unabr.", they probably aren't.

I buy my abooks for downloading and burning. I do it to save me the extra cost of production added by the publishers. I do not allow them to be uploaded/pirated.

The comment equating downloading to pirating was insulting to me. IMO, the people stealing via downloads probably would not buy the product anyway, so the corporations lose little or nothing.

Sent by Peter Cant | 3:49 PM | 8-22-2007

its always such a treat to tune in and listen to npr! discussions are usually so relevant to my life. i was on my way to the library to drop off an audio book and pick up a new one. thanks for the helpful suggestions!

Sent by sara in tucson | 3:57 PM | 8-22-2007

The Ruby Dee interview was painful to listen to, but her reading was great. It underlines the reason actors have scripts.
We like to listen to books on long car trips. Last was "As Time Goes By" (the sequel to Casablanca) read very well by Edward Herrmann as the voices of Rick and Louis and with Lynn Redgrave doing the voice of Ilsa.

Sent by tim | 3:58 PM | 8-22-2007

BTW, I own, read, and love all of the HP series abooks, and even own the books. Although I can listen to abooks being read the way my mother would have read them, the performed voice characterizations make it feel more like a movie than a simple reading would do. (Dads didn't have time to read them when I was young, 50+ years ago.)

Sent by Peter Cant | 3:58 PM | 8-22-2007

I have come to love audiobooks to get through my day at work sitting at a desk. I have also discovered the site podiobooks.com , where I listen to several 'podcast' novels by emerging authors that are new and exciting. Whats nice about these authors is that they're accessible and welcom interaction with their audience.

Sent by Maria | 3:59 PM | 8-22-2007

It is hard for me to pick a favorite. I've enjoyed 99% of the abooks I've read.
Ahmed Rashid Taliban
Alan Alda Never Have Your Dog Stuffed
Alexander McCall Smith At the Villa of ???
Anne Rice Blood and Gold
Anne Rice Interview with a Vampire
Anne Rivers Stiltons Nora, Nora, Nora -abr
Arthur C Clarke Rendevouz with Rama
Arthur Golden Memoirs of a Geisha
Audrey Niffenegger The Time Traveler's Wife
Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged
Bernard Cornell Pale Horseman
Bill Bryson A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson In a Sunburned Country
Catherine Moore A Dirty Job
Dan Brown DaVinci Code
Dan Brown Digital Fortress
Daniel Hecht Bones of the Barbary Coast
Daniel Hecht City of Masks
Daniel Hecht Land of Echoes
Daniel Hecht Puppets
Daniel Hecht Skull Session
David Balducci Last Man Standing
David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day
Dean Koontz Brother Odd
Dean Koontz By the Light of the Moon
Dean Koontz Crash
Dean Koontz Dark Rivers of the Heart
Dean Koontz Demon Seed
Dean Koontz False Memory
Dean Koontz Fear Nothing
Dean Koontz Forever Odd
Dean Koontz Intensity
Dean Koontz Nothing Sacred
Dean Koontz Odd Thomas
Dean Koontz Strange Highways (abr)
Dean Koontz The Bad Place
Dean Koontz The Face
Dean Koontz The Husband
Dean Koontz Twilight Eyes
DeMille, Nelson 1 Plum Island
DeMille, Nelson 2 Lion's Game
DeMille, Nelson 3 Night Fall
DeMille, Nelson 4 Wild Fire
DeMille, Nelson Mayday
DeMille, Nelson The Charm School
DeMille, Nelson Up Country
DeMille, Nelson Word of Honor
Douglas Adams Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Douglas Adams Starship Titanic
Douglass Preston, Lincoln Child Dance of Death
Douglass Preston, Lincoln Child The Book of the Dead
Edgar Rice Burroughs A Princess of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs A Princess of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs At the Earths Core
Edgar Rice Burroughs Beasts of Tarzan
Edgar Rice Burroughs Beasts of Tarzan
Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan of the Apes
Edgar Rice Burroughs The Return of Tarzan
Edgar Rice Burroughs The Warlord of Mars
Edward Rutherford Princes of Ireland
Edward Rutherford Rebels of Ireland
Elaine Pagels Beyond Belief
Erik Larson The Devil in the White City
Frank Delaney Ireland
Frank Herbert Dune
Fred Saberhagen Empire of the Heart
Frederick Forsyth The Veteran
Gaiman Neil American Gods
Gaiman Neil Anansi Boys
Garth Nix Sabeiel -juv
George Carlin Napalm and Silly Putty
George R R Martin 1 A Game of Thrones
George R R Martin 2 A Clash of Kings
George R R Martin 3 A Storm of Swords
George R R Martin 4 A Feast for Crows
Grisham, John King of Torts
Grisham, John The Innocent Man
Grisham, John The Last Juror
Grisham, John The Rainmaker
Grisham, John The Street Lawyer
Haruki Murakami A Wild Sheep Chase
HG Wells War of the Worlds
James Patterson Cat and Mouse
James Patterson The Beach House
James Patterson When the Wind Blows
Janet Evanovich Hard Eight
Jasper Fforde 1 Eyre Affair
Jasper Fforde 2 Lost in a good Book
Jasper Fforde 3 Well of Lost Plots
Jefferey Eugenides Middlesex
Jennifer Haigh Mrs Kimble
Joe Hill Heart-shaped Box
John Twelve Hawks The Traveler
Joseph Finder Paranoia
JRR Tolkien LotR
Ken Bruen The Dramatist
Larry Niven Ringworld
Larry Niven Ringworld's Children
Lauren Weisberger The Devil Wears Prada
Lawrence Black Small Town
Lisa Scottoline Killer Smile
Lisa Unger Beautiful Lies
Lynn Flewelling 1 Stalking the Darkness
Lynn Flewelling 2 Luck in the Shadows (gay)
Manda Scott 1 Dreaming the Eagle
Maxx Barry Syrup
Michael Connelly 01 The Black Echo
Michael Connelly 02 The Black Ice
Michael Connelly 03 Concrete Blonde
Michael Connelly 04 The Last Coyote
Michael Connelly 06 Angels Flight
Michael Crichton Eaters of the Dead
Michael Crichton Prey
Michael Crichton State of Fear
Michael Crichton Timeline
Michael Robotham Lost
Nevada Barr Flashback
Orson Scott Card 2 Speaker for the Dead
Patricia Cornwell Body of Evidence
Patricia Cornwell Postmortem
Patricia Cornwell Southern Cross
Patricia Cornwell Trace
PD James The Children of Man
PD James The Lighthouse
R A Heinlein 2 The Number of the Beast
R A Heinlein 3 The Cat Who Walks Thru Walls
R A Heinlein Citizen of Earth
R A Heinlein Double Star
R A Heinlein Farmer in the Sky
R A Heinlein Goldfish Bowl
R A Heinlein Job: A Comedy of Justice
R A Heinlein Starship Troopers
R A Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land
R A Heinlein The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
R A Heinlein The Puppet Masters
Reginald Hill Exit Lines
Richard K Morgan Altered Carbon
Richard North Patterson Excile
Robert Jordan 1 Eye of the World
Robert Jordan 2 The Great Hunt
Ron McLarty The Memory of Running
Ron McLarty Traveler
Rowling, JK Harry Potter and the 1 Sorcerer's Stone
Rowling, JK Harry Potter and the 2 Chamber of Secrets
Rowling, JK Harry Potter and the 3 Prisoner of Azkaban
Rowling, JK Harry Potter and the 4 Goblet of Fire
Rowling, JK Harry Potter and the 6 Half Blood Prince
Rowling, JK Harry Potter and the 7 Deathly Hallows
Rupert Holmes Where the Truth Lies
Stephen King Bag of Bones
Stephen King Bag of Bones
Stephen King Black House
Stephen King Cell
Stephen King Dreamcatcher
Stephen King Gerald's Game
Stephen King Hearts in Atlantis
Stephen King It
Stephen King Shawshank Redemption
Stephen King The Colorado Kid
Stephen King The Dark Tower 1-7
Stephen King The Green Mile
Stephen King, Peter Straub The Talisman
Stephenson, Neal Snow Crash
Stephenson, Neal The Diamond Age

Sent by Peter Cant | 4:02 PM | 8-22-2007

I find that I have better retention and finish a book faster if I listen rather than read. I listen during commutes (I bicycle to work, 80 minutes a day) and while mowing lawn, etc, so my mind is otherwise pretty much zoned out.

I've found that a couple years after the fact, I remember characters and story better on audiobook than on other books from the same series read just before or after on paper. In particular I remember Orson Scott Card's Xenocide and Shadow of the Hegemon, which I listened to on audio, better than even Ender's Game, which I've read on paper 3 times.

Other books I've found I could ONLY get through on audio. I recently tried Kim Stanley Robinson's Red/Green/Blue Mars on audio, 6 months after an abortive attempt to get through Red Mars on paper. I found it a pretty good listen, but at the same time there's no way I could have made it through on paper. There are passages that spend pages upon pages just establishing character transitions, and I just couldn't get through them, though I don't have trouble with long books in general, just books where nothing much happens for 50 pages.
On audio it actually worked well.

Sent by John Ridley | 4:14 PM | 8-22-2007

Audio is also a terrific alternative for travelers. When you think about it, listening while you look at the sites makes alot more sense than trying to read and look at the same time. More and more walking tours for major cities and fascinating neighborhoods are coming out, as well as themed tours, history-oriented tours , and in-depth art guides for travelers. No more fumbling for reading glasses or smacking into lamp posts!

Sent by Jane McIntosh | 4:16 PM | 8-22-2007

all fans of audio books should check out audible.com. You can by a subscription for a monthly payment or just select individual books. The digital books can then be listened to on computer, burned to disc, or downloaded to your portable devise

Sent by M Carr | 5:50 PM | 8-22-2007

I recommend audio books for our library patrons who are no longer able to read easily or who are house bound. I have also discovered that they are a tremendous help in setting the cadance for foreign literature and classics.
Personally, I just can't seem to drive anywhere without one. We enjoy audio books as a family. The kids are hooked on books instead of plugged into iPods.

Sent by Kimberly Glidden | 5:54 PM | 8-22-2007

One of my fondest childhood memories is from a family holiday tradition in the early 1960s. Our TV was silent and dark for several special evenings as my mother read aloud "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame. We sat by our Christmas tree listening -- rapt -- as she transported three suburban kids from Indiana to a different world and time.

It was magic -- and imparted a lifelong love of reading, words, visualization, thinking, books, and storytelling. It's easily the best Christmas gift my mother ever gave to her children. The appeal of audio books finds its heart in a storytelling tradition that spans all human history.

Sent by Andy Markley | 6:03 PM | 8-22-2007

I loved hearing Ruby Dee read and praise Zora Neale Hurston. I teach English and because Hurston's dialect is sometimes difficult for students to read, I have them listen to some of Ruby Dee "channeling" Hurston's narrator, Janie. Dee inspires students to read further and helps them understand why Their Eyes Were Watching God is a magnificent novel.

Sent by NPR Junkie | 6:37 PM | 8-22-2007

Audio Books remind me of the days when Radio was the Myth builder of my young Imagination........I miss the Radio Days....yet they are alive at N.P.R. and in the Audio Books....

Sent by Phil Havice | 8:40 PM | 8-22-2007

I love Judy Kaye reading Sue Grafton and George Guidall reading anything. I had listened to The Notebook, with Campbell Scott reading the part of Noah so many times before the movie came out, I had a hard time picturing James Garner as Noah. The reader definitely makes the book.

Sent by Joanne Seck | 9:06 PM | 8-22-2007

Books I've enjoyed on tape include
"A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson (taking on the Appalachian Trail); "Into Thin Air" (?) about surviving an assult on Mt. Everest; and "Catch 22" (good on paper and tape) by Joseph Heller. Right now I'm working my way through Thomas Cahill's "How the Irish Saved Civilization," which is rich in history but dense and requires more attention than multi-tasking will allow.

Sent by Lee Jefferis | 10:02 PM | 8-22-2007

There is a company, "Books on Tape", that rented out recorded unabridged book many years ago. In 1974 I started a job that required a 45 minute drive to and from work. In the morning I listened to the news; on the way home, I listened to books. When libraries started carrying books in 2004, it killed their business. I still have their last catalog. I went through all the Tom Clancy books,John Grisham, Scott Peck, Mere Christianity, etc. One of the most significant, eye opening was "Race and Culture - A World View" by Thomas Sowell. Next was "Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America" by John McWhorter. What he didn't cover well was covered by "America Beyond the Color Line" by Henry Louis Gates Jr. (NPR has a 210 minute video on the interviews covered in it. I just received a 9 CD reading of "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" by Thomas Sowell. My most recent book was a Clancy coop with Gen Anthony Zinni, "Battle Ready", a must read for anyone who wants to know why this war went so wrong.

Sent by Gray Kinnie | 11:05 PM | 8-22-2007

I am so thankful for the variety of choices for audio books. My dad has recently become ill enough that he can't read much so I've been buying him audio books to pass the time and he loves it!

Sent by Melody Thompson | 7:40 PM | 8-23-2007

I'm very sorry I missed the program, as I listen to audio books constantly while I do housework. Keeps me sane!

I haven't seen any discussion of tape v. CD. I have to say that I HATE CD books as compared to tapes.

1) CDs are not easily transferred from one venue to another without starting over somewhere other than where you stopped listening--unless you wait for some designated spot on the CD. Extremely inconvenient, and annoying. 2) If a CD is in the slightest way damaged, you have no way to correct it and you end up losing a good portion of the story. With tape, at least you have the chance of repairing the damage and continuing to listen to the story. 3) CDs are an extremely poor medium for libraries, as they do not hold up well to multiple users.

Our library has ceased purchasing tapes in favor of CDs. Apparently, this is due to the trend of the publishers to only offer CDs of new books. There is no sound-quality advantage to CD books over tape, as there is in music recordings, so this trend simply appeases the audio manufacturing industry, not the literary faction.

I would like to know if there are any other "audio readers" who feel as I do, and wonder if it would be possible to influence the audio book industry to continue producing taped books for those of us who prefer them.

Sent by Becky Bonar | 12:27 PM | 9-25-2007