Friday, December 5, 2008

Another Way To Enjoy Books

Everyone who knows me knows I LOVE to read. My idea of a perfect day includes some time curled up by myself with a good book. Unfortunately one of things I suffer with all too frequently is vertigo, which for me is made worse by reading. Sometimes an attack will only last a few hours, but other times they last for weeks, or even months. Those times have been trying in many ways, but especially because not being able to read is like a punishment for me. Of course books on tape, then CD and now download able to IPODS and MP3 players have come into existence, but they weren't around when I first started having this problem, and as much as I enjoy them, it isn't the same as being able to read a book myself.

I love everything about books, the feel of one in my hands, the cover art, the different fonts, the crisp pages, even the smell!! However I am grateful that these other options have become available for those times when I can't read a book for myself. I just discovered another wonderful option that I wanted to share with all of you. I was at the library yesterday and was walking past the books on CD section when I noticed something different. I stopped to investigate and saw that they have "playaway" audiobooks. Not sure what it was, I picked one up to investigate. This is the description from the cover "Playaway is the simplest way to listen to an audiobook on the go. Each Playaway comes pre-loaded with an audiobook, and batteries are included. Simply plug in earphones and enjoy. No cassettes or CD's. No downloads. there's nothing left to do but listen." What a terrific idea! They are like tiny little MP3 players and my library had an impressive selection of titles to choose from. I could learn a foreign language, read the latest bestseller or find almost any non-fiction subject that might interest me. I had no idea these existed! I knew I could download books from the Internet to my IPOD, but of course there is a charge, and it takes time, and sometimes the narrators are better than others. This is all done and ready to go, all I need to provide are the earphones, and since I can get them at the library, they are free!

Maybe you already know about them, but if you don't, they are definitely worth a look. I don't ever want to discourage people from actually reading books, I still think it is the best way to enjoy a story and to exercise your own imagination, but if health or time is an issue, this is a great tool! I immediately thought of what a terrific gift these would be for someone in the hospital or home bound. I had a dear friend who had to have surgery on her eyes for macular degeneration and wasn't allowed to lift her head for several weeks after surgery. This would have been a God-send, and a much more pleasant way to pass the time than just listening to the TV.

Anyway, to me, it was just one more reminder that no matter how "limited" I think I get by my illness, there is always a way around things. I am grateful that I have a library that carries these, as I imagine it could get expensive to buy them all the time. Please consider looking into them for yourself or as a gift for someone else! Happy Holidays!


Kara S. said...

I've not heard of these! I'll definitely check our local library. I know they have audiobooks, but never really investigated that area since I read so much as is.

Anonymous said...

I never knew about these "playaway" audio books. I would like to take them with me when we travel to my Dr's appointments that are a distance away. While Hubby drives I can "read" :)

But I know just what you mean about books. I love them and respect them like they are gold. I've taught my daughters the same thing. No turned down corners, never put them on the floor, etc. They thought I was a lunatic, but now they "get" it too.

Glad you found a new way to enjoy reading again.

One Mom said...

What a fantastic idea. My husband has had a lot of trouble reading since his stroke...this could be something he might appreciate and a little activity we could schedule to go choose one! Thanks for the info :)

Renee said...

I have not heard of these either. Our library may not carry them but my husband is going tofind out...our little city of 30,000 can be a bit behind....I love to read too. I have to "outgas" tghe books of smells first but always have a book or two nearby.
THanks for the info