Friday, June 28, 2013
During the hot summer days of Arizona, our family spends more time than usual indoors. Highs this weekend near 118 mean it is not particularly safe to be outside in the sun. Instead we retreat to the air conditioning and other pursuits. No matter what we are doing, we typically have an audiobook playing. Our family loves audiobooks. We listen on road trips, on weekly errands, during the day and sometimes even at night. I am not sure how their love started, but each enjoys listening to stories. Perhaps it is, because I love audiobooks. I enjoy hearing a story told and will listen whenever I can.
Recently someone asked where we find audiobooks. I thought I would share a few of our sources. Most of our stories are from the library. My library has two digital audiobook collections, OneClickdigital and Overdrive. I will often check out the digital portion of our library's offerings for good stories. If someone mentions a particular book that I think is suitable for all three children, I check the library. I download the audiobook to my player to enjoy (I have both an iPod and a SanDisk Sansa Clip. The Sansa is great for WMA files, a popular audiobook format). The digital file can be played at home or in our vehicle. Sometimes we will check out the actual discs from the library to play at home as well. Occasionally I will transfer them to a player and then delete the files when we are finished listening to it (for those worried, this is appropriate per our local librarian. If unsure check with your library).
Another source of books during the summer is Sync audio. This website offers two free audiobooks each week. One of the books is considered a classic and the other is current popular fiction. Sync tries to pair complimentary books together. Not all of them are appropriate for my kiddos at this point, but I still check each week and usually download the book for later. Eamon and Aine both have Sansa Clips for audiobooks that they listen to regularly, so sometimes I will load the story on their individual player based on age and book level. I prefer to listen with them when I am unsure of the book and content.
A final spot for audio is Lit2Go and Librivox. Both offer classics found in the public domain. We download from iTunesU or directly from the sites. I prefer Lit2Go, because it usually has one reader per story, and we can find some children's classics easily. We listened to many of the Oz stories from Lit2Go. The site also gives reading and grade levels as well as the pdf to go along with the selection. One other difference is that Librivox is volunteer powered, while Lit2Go is funded and run by the University of South Florida.
I hope this helps a few of you find audiobooks for your families. We love them, and I hope you do too.