June is Audio Book Month and it is sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association. Now I know when I heard this I laughed, come on audio books, what is the big deal? Then I really started thinking of the impact audio books have had and do on our society and it is huge!
My first memory of an audio book is in kindergarten. I was sitting at a listening station, which consisted of tape players with headphones, and pretending to read Little Red Riding Hood. I remember that every time you heard a beep or chime it meant turn the page. I was so proud of myself being able to read and that was my first positive interaction with literacy. Ever since that story I have not stopped reading/listening to books.
Things have progressed, most children do not know what a tape is, and they have cds. Books on cd are very popular in classrooms and libraries across the world. These are the types of positive interactions that reinforce a child’s desire to read. A lot of children’s books are bilingual and having them on audio is a great way to introduce children to other languages even if the teacher is not bilingual. Having stories and classroom lessons on audio reinforce what children are learning and is a great way to teach new lessons as well. A story on Africa with the sound of exotic animals in the background is more likely going to grab a child’s attention then a teacher reading from a book.
Books on audio have really improved many adults’ lives as well. Often when adults who don’t know how to read, their instructor will start with the basics first. Those basics are the alphabet; what each letter looks like and sounds like. Audio books can reinforce those lessons when adults aren’t in the classroom. This concept is used when teaching people a second language as well.
Books on audio have also given busy adults a chance to listen to book rather then sit and read. When I don’t have time to read I will listen to a book on audio when I go to work and on my way home. This way I do not feel like I a missing something by giving up one of my favorite pastimes.
Those nights at home when just getting the children fed and bathed is tough, listening to a book on audio can be very relaxing and help them get into bed time mode. Books on audio have given us the ability to multi-task.
All the people who have special needs of any kind books on audio can help bridge gaps. Some people don’t have the physical capability to even hold a book but they can still enjoy it by listening to it on audio. Who doesn’t enjoy talking about a good book?