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Are You Listening?

Category: Where The Child Things Are
Posted: August 10, 2017

By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Librarian

Are you a lover of audiobooks? Do you prefer holding a book in your hand? Are you indifferent? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this post is for you.

I’ll admit, I joined the audiobook world hesitantly and begrudgingly. I did not want listen to a book, I wanted to physically hold it, smell it, and flip through it. So when one of my friends suggested that I listen to a book during my car ride home, I rejected it. However, shortly after that, I was stuck in traffic and found myself wanting to listen to something other than music. I eventually decided to try it out, and I am now an audiobook listener!

Audiobooks are important tools for readers because they allow us to recognize, while also enhancing, certain elements of a story such as tone, vocabulary, and resolution. Hearing the story read aloud emphasizes tone and humor in sentences, as well as pinpoints new vocabulary words used in the writing. Those elements and more make listening to a story immersive and powerful. So much so, that by the end, you’ll want to discuss the resolution of the story with other people!

Now that some basics are covered, a key question arises: what makes a good audiobook? For me, a good audiobook is all about the reader. The way in which they read impacts how I absorb the story. For example, Jim Dale changes his voice whenever characters are talking in order for the reader to distinguish between the dialogue and narrative. Neil Gaiman brings a soft, yet eerie tone to his audiobooks, pulling you further into his world. Not to mention the creative song intros! I have listed some great audiobooks below for you to listen to the next time you’re in the car or walking down the street. The wonderful part about audiobooks is that even if you’ve read the book already, you can experience it in a new way, with a new reader.

Matilda by Roald Dahl, read by Kate Winslet

Coraline by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, read by Tim Curry

Roman Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean, read by Andrew Sachs

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale

Matilda by Roald Dahl, read by Kate Winslet

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