By definition, digital books are represented in two formats; the electronic book, more commonly referred to as an eBook, and the audio book. The latter is a book being read out aloud and recorded by a narrator, allowing one to enjoy a favorite book by listening.
Immediate access is one of the big attractions for many avid talking book fans, and yet another reason this book format has gained so much popularity so much in recent years.
For any given book available in digital format, obtaining that title is snap, given the combination of easy, modern Internet access, and the large storage capacity that media players now have. It is those technological advances and more that have been instrumental in promoting the tremendous growth of the digital book industry.
Why Audio Books?
Digital books offer many advantages over traditional print books; I will cover those in detail shortly. Tape technology has now largely been replaced by various digital formats for the majority of playback devices such as the ever popular iPod, and a multitude of other comparable listening devices.
Many recent technical innovations have helped to make the digital book medium the largest growing section of the publishing industry. This together with their ease of use and portability means that we should see not only recorded books, but eBooks (electronic books) and eBook readers like the Kindle, become an even more viable option for reading or listening to literature.
Advantages in Summary:
1. Flexibility & Convenience:
Listen to a book anytime and most anywhere, an attribute, which fits well, in our busy lifestyles. You’re going to appreciate the option of listening to a narrated book in your favorite genre, while you are walking or jogging, doing housework, standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, driving, or sitting in your doctor’s waiting room. Digital literature fits along with your music in your portable media player like peaches and cream.
Portable media players are rarely called “music players” now days, as most are now truly multimedia devices, if your environment allows you to listen to music, then listening to a recorded book should be just as suitable. Common sense should prevail, so never allow yourself to be distracted while doing anything that demands your full attention, for example, while operating machinery.
2. Keep Your Hands Free:
Unlike a paperback, where it is necessary to hold the book while reading, an audio book keeps your hands free, allowing you to attend to other tasks while enjoying your favorite book.
Many commercial titles use professional narrators that use their special voice skills to bring a story to life. Special sound effects, particularly for children’s titles, add an extra dimension to the narration.
4. Easier on the Eyes:
Reading can cause eye strain, especially reading for long periods of time. Eye strain is obviously not an issue when listening to books.
5. Easy to Obtain:
Traditional paper books need you to either make a visit to your local bookstore, or shop online and wait for the book to arrive in the mail. When you buy audio books online, downloading will be completed within minutes.
6. Traditional Books Can Be Expensive:
Audiobooks can be also in some cases! If you’re a regular purchaser of digital books, there are some great subscription discounts and book reading forum deals available.
7. Club Subscriptions:
Rental club subscription services that offer bargain audio books or unlimited downloads for a monthly fee. In addition to this, if you normally buy your books through the mail, you will most likely need to pay shipping charges, which is not the case when you download a book or rent books on CD.
8. Enhance Your Listening Skills:
When you listen to books on a regular basis, you are developing valuable listening skills, as well as expanding your vocabulary. This is particularly true for children, hearing words used in context and pronounced correctly. Ideally, listening too, and reading the printed version of the text together, greatly accelerates the child’s reading abilities.
9. Bedtime Stories for Kids:
What better way to enhance your child’s bedtime story than with one of the free childrens audio books available from the public domain.? When it is story time, you can sit with your children and listen to the bedtime story together. It’s fun and entertaining.
10. Save On Space:
Many book lovers have found that after years of collecting books; they no longer have room to store them. Many cannot bear the thought of parting with them, so they end up with a basement or attic full of books. This is no longer a problem with digital books, as you can store an almost infinite number of books digitally, with almost no space at all.
11. Infinite Life:
No need to worry about torn covers, yellowed pages or general deterioration when stored in less than ideal conditions, as you do with the traditional print book. Because it is stored digitally, and easily backed up, your book will be in great a shape in a decade or longer.
In the future, there are sure to be conversion tools for upgrading the current digital format of your books, to the then new format, whatever that may prove to be. Digital books have many advantages over traditional print books; they can give hours of entertainment in an almost infinite variety of listening environments.
Audio books are unlikely to replace traditional printed paper books for a very long time, if ever! For those who have never listened to a narrated book, you will find that there is no better way to enjoy the written word. Talking books are a great way to be entertained, while still going about your daily routine. That is their biggest benefit.
Peter Markovic is the publisher of Audioforbooks.com. He and his team are passionate about audio & E-books and all their advantages.