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Did You Know That Audio Books Are Free?

You may think that audio books are expensive. As it appears to be – they are not. In fact, I was listening to audio books for many years and have never paid a dime for it. And I am not talking piracy here, just read on.

The best source of free audio books is your local library. Libraries have a great selection of audio books on tapes and CDs right on their shelves. Any library is usually a part of a big Network or a Consortium of libraries and funds. This Network comprises dozens of local libraries and has combined collections of millions of items. In the online catalog you can find and request most of the audio books ever published. This is great! And I cannot stress enough: libraries have most of the audio books ever published. There is one disadvantage though: it may take days, or even weeks, for your order to arrive to your local library for you to pick it up. So this option is for patient readers. If you finally got the book you so much desired, you may want to make the listening process even more convenient and enjoyable by converting it into the mp3 format.

Another option for more impatient listeners also can be found at your local library. Digital catalogs are relatively new, but they become more and more popular among the libraries. They provide a very convenient means for you to download audio books, and they have a great selection. The download services are provided by OverDrive and NetLibrary nationwide. NetLibrary might not allow burning CDs but Overdrive does. If your local library is not yet participating, you can initiate the process by referring to the digital provider OverDrive. In just a few minutes, even the newest user can be enjoying a downloaded title. Instead of burning a CD, you may want to use your mp3 player for listening.

Bear in mind, however, that not all mp3 players are good for audio books. Also, both OverDrive and NetLibrary provide audio files in the secure DRM wma format designed by Microsoft. iPods, designed by Apple, don’t support wma. So if you decide to use the digital download services provided by you library, make sure your audio player supports this format. You can find more information on mp3 file conversion and mp3players for audio books at

As you can see now, audio books are not at all expensive. In fact they are free. And they are great fun. So, why not try giving music a break and switch to a great alternative – audio books. Audio books may give you many hours of unforgettable pleasure. Try it out, and who knows, this might just become a new hobby!

Visiting the Library

Libraries offer more than books. They are places of learning
and discovery for everyone. Ask at the library about
getting a library card in your child’s name and, if you don’t
already have one, get a card for yourself.

The Librarian

Introduce yourself and your child to your librarian.
Librarians can help you to select the best books that are
both fun and suitable for your child’s age level. They can
also show you the other programs and services the library
has to offer.

Books . . . and More

In addition to a wealth of books, your library most likely
will have tapes and CDs of books, musical CDs and tapes,
movies, computers that you can use, and many more resources.
You also might find books in languages other than English,
or programs to help adults improve their reading. If you
would like reading help for yourself or your family, check
with the librarian about literacy programs in your

Supervised Story Times

Babies and toddlers.

Many libraries have group story hours that are short and
geared to the attention spans of the children. During story
hour, child sits in your lap, and both of you can join in the
story. The storyteller also may show you fingerplays and
rhythm activities. The storyteller also may give you tips
and handouts that you can use for your own home story


The library may offer these story hours more than once a
week. For these story hours, you and your child usually read
several books on the same topic. You might play games, sing
songs, use puppets, or do other activities that are connected to
that topic. You also may get ideas for books to read and other
things to do with your child at home.


Families can read together, or they may join in a story told
by the library storyteller.
Some libraries also set up family activities around the
readings, including crafts and art projects and watching

Summer Reading

After the school year is over, some children may forget what
they have learned about reading. Libraries help keep
children interested in reading by offering summer programs.

Children from early elementary school to high school read
books on their own. A teacher or librarian may give a child
a diary or log in which he writes what he read during the
summer. And, because reading aloud is so important to
promoting a love of reading, many libraries offer “Read-to-
Me” clubs for preschool and younger children.