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Online Audio Books: A Popular Trend

Audio books are a recording of traditional books, read by a narrator.  They are available in abridged and unabridged versions. The abridged books are altered at the narrators’ discretion but still carry the original intent of the story. Unabridged titles are read word for word form the original printed text. Audio books are preferred by many people because they can be listened to while doing other things like chores or driving. People who spend a large amount of time traveling find audio books to be an excellent way to put normally wasted time to good use. The fact that audio books can be listened to multiple times over several days helps with memory retention of the content.  It is also easy to quickly search for chapters and stop the story when necessary. Audio books are available as mp3 downloads and compact discs for purchase. The online purchase of audio books is a lucrative business for many companies.  It is estimated that audio books produced $187 million in revenue last year and the projected sales for the near future is in the billions of dollars.

Where is the best place to get online audio books?

Any popular search engine will produce hundreds of options for where to purchase online audio books.  Apple’s iTunes,, Audio Universe, The Bible Foundation, Audio Treasure and Blackstone Audio Books are popular choices. Your favorite traditional bookstore like Barnes and Noble or Borders will most likely have an audio book selection on their web sites as well. Public libraries across the country are now offering online card catalogs and most will offer audio book selections as well as the printed text versions that we usually expect from a library.  Due to the increase in demand by patrons, many libraries are significantly expanding their audio book selections.

Web sites are also a popular source for free online audio books Nonprofit agencies that support the visually impaired will often have information on how to acquire audio books for those whose vision is decreased enough to make reading traditionally printed books difficult or impossible topics for audio books are varied and can be found on almost any subject.  In fact, most new best selling books in print are also released as an audio book format and can be found online by searching for the title of the desired work and adding “audio book” to the search box.

Online audio books are popular because they are easily accessible, affordable and portable.  They fit into today’s busy lifestyles very well and the increase in sales is proof that more and more consumers are discovering audio books.

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