An audio book is simply a book produced in a format that is audible. Audio books started in the Spanish language and soon blossomed into a multi-linguistic media. Numerous individuals and corporations use them for a variety of reasons.
The very first audio book was produced in 1975 as a collection of short stories. The author was David Sánchez Juliao and the audio book was in Spanish. Since then, audio books have been used for a multitude of disparate tasks: to teach children to read, as a method for the blind to have access to books, and as a teaching format for everything from learning a foreign language, guitar lessons, motivational seminars, and cooking lessons. The self-help industry utilizes audio books to tape workshops, conferences and basically uses them as a learning tool.
Because of the portability and relative low cost, audio books have become popular as a learning tool. In this fast-paced society, audio books have allowed us to multi-task while reading a book or learning a new skill.
Audio books have features that are valuable when learning a new skill such as a foreign language. For example, the ability to hear how words are pronounced is essential when learning a new language. Replay ability can reinforce what has just been heard. The ability to listen to an unabridged version (word for word readings from a book), while following along in the actual hardcopy of the same book is an effective learning approach. In addition, the ability to replay a section, as many times as necessary in order to get all the notes needed makes note taking unhurried and more accurate.
Audio books come in a variety of formats including CD, cassette or downloadable format, affording the consumer to hear a book in the format best suited to their lifestyle. Audio books are very versatile so they fit just about anyone’s need. Audio books can be borrowed from the local library or purchased or rented in bookstores or online (audible.com or simplyaudiobooks.com). Free audio books can be found on numerous Websites (allyoucanbooks.com). They can also be downloaded from online audio book clubs such as freepopularbooks.com.
A truly unique platform has been developed by Unite for Literacy. Dedicated to ensuring that all children – particularly the disadvantaged – had books, Unite for Literacy has created millions of audio books for children around the world, many of them in remote and impoverished areas. Unite for Literacy, funded by county by county business sponsorship, offers free audio books that can be used right off the website. There is nothing to download and no registration is required. Narration is available in 30 languages.
Parents have found that taking audio books along on long commutes can entertain the little ones and allow everyone to have a more peaceful drive. Many workers make good use of the daily commute by listening to self-improvement audio books, or pop in an audio book to catch up on their reading or to learn a language. Now the drive to and from work can be a productive time.
Corporations use business audio books as learning tools for employees, to encourage staff in pursuit of higher learning. There are many inspirational speakers on audio book. Business topics cover managing, motivating employees, closing sales, how to conduct successful negotiations and so much more.
Audio books have grown into a billion dollar industry because of their portability, and use as a learning tool and ability to make reading fun. The audio book appeals to all ages and every