Books have voices
By Ryan Jones
Studies are showing more people use audiobooks for reading.
According to goodreads.com, within the past three years audiobooks have become the fastest growing sector in publishing. This information was published in Global Audiobook Trends and Statistics for 2017 which looked at the market and trends of audiobooks.
This is also supported by research from BookNet Canada. The BookNet article includes an Audio Publishers Association report showing sales of audiobooks have increased 30 per cent since 2015.
The president and CEO of BookNet Canada said there are two main contributing factors to the growth of audiobooks.
“One is digital. By digital I mean it used to be that you’d get the audiobooks on CD or audio tape and they’re more difficult,” said Noah Genner. “They were harder to find and you needed a device to play them on and all those kinds of things. But now with the content itself being digitized you can download a file or get it streamed live.”
Genner also said people’s lifestyles may play a role in the expansion of audiobooks.
“People are busy now,” said Genner. “Being able to multitask – from a lot of surveying and a lot of consumer research we use – the ability to listen to the audiobook while they’re doing something else like cleaning a house or walking a dog or commuting, is a huge factor in the rise.”
A librarian at Amherstburg’s Essex County Library said the audiobooks provided are used everyday. She said most people use them when driving.
“They come in several formats, the CDs and a device called a play away, which is pretty cool. It’s like a little book all in itself, you just throw in a battery and a headset. They are also available online for download,” said Caroline Reichert.
Students are also finding convenience through audiobooks.
Carly Coombe, a history and English student at the University of Windsor, said she uses audiobooks to understand her readings in a shorter amount of time.
“Being that both my majors revolve around readings, I needed to find a way to read my required texts without spending too much time,” said Coombe. “By using audiobooks I can follow along with the book and notice things that I would not have been able to if I had not listened to them.”
Alex Abbruzzese, a first year psychology student at University of Windsor, said he also finds great value in audiobooks and has been using them for 11 years.
He said he enjoys listening to them while doing chores such as dishes or cleaning up the yard and finds it to be an entertaining and enriching experience.
“I first discovered audiobooks when my mom brought some home from the library where she works. I was about six at the time and loved reading, but eye strain was an issue for me, so audiobooks were the natural solution,” said Abbruzzese.
In a busy society the ease of reading is just a pair of headphones away.