Listening at the Library

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By Meredith Veatch

A few weeks ago I visited my optometrist because I’d been getting a lot of headaches, and I wondered if I needed a new prescription for my glasses. The good news is I don’t need new glasses. The bad news, I’ve been reading too much. Imagine my dismay when I heard the news.

Tempest Audio Book Cover

I’m a librarian! I read books for both work and pleasure! But alas, focusing my eyes so much on things close to me strains my eye muscles and causes me to have headaches. Basically, my doctor told to spend at least a part of each day looking at things in the distance, rather than right by my face.

In an effort to follow my doctor’s advice, I’ve decided to listen to more things on audio. The Pratt Library has a wide variety of materials available in audio formats, from picture books to epic fantasies to language courses, on CD or available to download.

Here are a few ways I’ve found to use audiobooks:

  • Listening to a full cast production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I’m going to see the play on stage next month, and this was a fun way to familiarize myself with the story.
  • Brushing up on my French language skills. I took French in college, but I’ve let it go in the years since I graduated. The library has many different French courses available on CD.
  • The Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium Web siteUsing audiobook downloads from Maryland’sDigital eLibrary Consortium as a motivator when running. Nothing makes a run more invigorating than listening to an action packed story. My personal favorites are the excellent audio recordings of the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
  • Rereading books that I wouldn’t otherwise have time for. I always have a large pile of books by my bed waiting to be read, so it’s tricky to go back and reread books I love. Listening to audiobooks while I’m driving or cleaning my house not only lets me enjoy certain books again, but it also makes those unpleasant tasks fly by. Recently I’ve enjoyed listening to old favorites Persuasion by Jane Austen and The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.

I’ll never give up reading altogether, but I’m certainly enjoying my experiences with audio, and I’m glad that the library has so many different audio options.

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