It’s no secret that we are huge audiobook fans around here. I’ve had some questions recently about where we find books, especially for the children too little read on their own. In honor of the two-year-old’s current obsession with What Do You Do with a Kangaroo? on CD, here is a quick overview (by age) of how we use audiobooks around here:
The two-year-old: Our resident toddler is a little young to appreciate audiobooks on their own, but she is a big fan of the book/cd sets offered at our library. It’s taken a little training to teach her to use the cd player and be gentle with the CDs, but I’m fairly comfortable with her listening on her own at this point. Hearing the chimes when it’s time to turn the page take me back my favorite book on vinyl (yes, really) as a child: Peter and the Wolf .
The five-year-old: This time last year, I tried to convince her to stay in bed with an audiobook. She lost interest after a few minutes. These days, however, she goes to bed almost every night with an audiobook. We ended up loading the OverDrive app on an old tablet for her so she can listen to audiobooks from the library for free. (Plus the books return themselves when they’re due, so I don’t have to worry about late fees!) Her current favorites are anything by Mary Pope Osborne and Betsy Tacy. Since she’s not napping these days, we have audiobooks to thank for our success at maintaining an after-lunch quiet time.
The eight-year-old: By now, our third grader is a pro at finding and downloading his own audiobooks on OverDrive. Sometimes I download books for him, but most of the time he looks through the listening history or browses the available audiobooks for something interesting. There have been a few times that I’ve had to screen the books ahead of time, but most of the books available in the kids’ section of our library’s collection are right at his level. He doesn’t fall asleep to books these days, but he does listen while he cleans his room and puts away clean clothes in the afternoon. His current favorites are the Percy Jackson series and the Ramona Quimby books.
The thirty-somethings: I almost always have an audiobook loaded on my phone and ready to go anytime I head out for a run or do the dishes. My favorite books to listen to on audio are those that I can’t read without falling asleep: non-fiction and super descriptive books. Anytime a friend starts a book recommendation with, “it has a bit of a slow start,” I look for it on audio. We also enjoy finding audiobooks the whole family can appreciate on road trips. Some of our recent favorites have been The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Other Animal Stories.
Our library doesn’t have a Hoopla subscription (sad day), but I have friends who use it to listen to books that have long waits at the library. I’d love to hear your favorite ways to read with your ears. Is it time for me to just take the plunge and sign up for Audible?