Audiobook Reading

 Audiobook Reading - How I learned to embrace the audio book and find time to actually read again. How to engage students with the option of audio books to fire them up for reading.

       Ever find it hard to carve out time to read? Have a stack of books on your end table? A whole shelf of unread books? Me too.
       Three years ago, though, I discovered the audiobook. I always knew they existed, but people are often saying that audiobooks aren't really reading. Without going into a rant discussion about reading with different senses and how if blind people can read by touch with their fingers I can read by hearing with my ears, I'd like to completely and wholeheartedly recommend you grab some audiobooks this year.
       I currently have a stack of 7-8 audiobooks in the armrest of my car, all of which have been ripped to my iPod. I listen to them driving to work or running around the park or riding the stationary bike. They are amazing.
       I love how they develop a totally different side of my comprehension. I love how they reinforce the pronunciation of words. And most of all, I love that I get to read again. Sure, I still struggle to carve time (with 3 kids and 2 jobs and an amazing wife to woo) to read paper books, but I'm loving this new dimension to my reading experience.
       QUICK STORY: A few years ago when our oldest daughter was 3, she awoke from naptime, walked out, and asked us what a "precipice" is. Yup, you read that right, a "precipice." I asked her where she heard that word, and she told me about how Jack and Annie were running from the pteranodon and stopped at the precipice so they didn't fall over. See, she'd gotten a MAGIC TREEHOUSE audiobook with a kid's meal and we let her listen to it at naptime. She had totally been absorbing the story and learning the vocabulary. It amazed us and sparked our fire for audiobooks. If my 3 year old could learn about precipices from audiobooks, they were legit.
       (1) We buy our audiobooks on Amazon, then resell them when we've finished reading them. They can get a bit pricey, but you recoup most of your costs when you resell, if not all of the cost. It takes a small bit of work and a trip to the post office, but it's worth it to us.
       (2) Public libraries now let you check out audiobooks digitally. You can log in to their websites and download the .mp3s or .wav files to your iPod or smartphone and listen to them for FREE. The selection is smaller than Amazon, but it's free and that's awesome!
       (3) Speaking of Amazon, they have a tool called Audible, which is a subscription-based program that lets you rent audiobooks each month.
       So because I've become such a believer in audiobooks, I've started telling my middle school students about it and allowing them to use part of their required reading time from audiobooks. Some of them have started reading like crazy. Others have just become better managers of their time. But nobody has completely neglected paper reading. So far...success with the students.
       Whatever you do, don't go another year without adding this dimension to your reading pleasure!
       Your thoughts?

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  1. Love it! I have also found podcasts to be a welcome addition to my daily commute to and from work.

  2. Love it! I have also found podcasts to be a welcome addition to my daily commute to and from work.


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