Audiobooks are often used by individuals learning a second language, as well as struggling and emerging readers. They are valuable to the learning disabled and visually impaired. Yet, audiobooks can benefit children of all ages and abilities. They help develop listening skills and provide a read-aloud model. The storyteller can convey humor and portray unfamiliar accents or dialects to the listener, bringing the printed word to life. An audiobook can even be enjoyed as pure entertainment.
Audiobooks are available, at the library, in three formats: books on cd, playaways, and read-along books with cd. Books on cd do not have a visual companion. The story is read aloud by an actor, storyteller, or the author himself. Playaways are small portable devices, similar to an ipod. They have a single book programed into it. Just supply your own batteries and headphones. Read-along books are kits that include the cd recording as well as the book to follow along. Whichever format you choose, audio books are great for bedtime, vacations, long car rides, and anytime.