Friday, July 15, 2011

Audio Book Addiction

As a working mother with a fairly long commute, I go through a ton of audio books a year.  In my car, at all times, there are the audio books I listen to with my 6 year old son and 11 year old daughter, and then there are those I listen to after I drop them off at school.  If I don't have an audio book (or three) in my car I get very grumpy!

This is quite a beneficial addiction for a Children's Librarian because my repertoire increases much faster than if I were only reading books. I tend to digest a lot of teen fiction via audio which is helpful since they are longer than most children's books.  My YA knowledge stays up to date even though I work with the 12 and under set.

This obsession with Audio Books also helps me to be a better housekeeper!  Using Audible, or free WMA/MP3 downloads from my library via Overdrive, I can listen to Audio Books as I clean house.  I simply plugging ear buds into my Android phone!  Folding laundry and scrubbing bathtubs goes much faster while engrossed in a really great Tamora Pierce novel!

Not only has this Audio Addiction benefited me- but my children have developed very sophisticated vocabularies from all the books they have been introduced to.  My son, who has been listening to audio books in the car with us since before he could even speak, is now an excellent reader with superior language skills.  My daughter has gained amazing comprehension and recall skills from her years and years of audio book car rides.  She actually prefers to commute with whichever parent is listening to the better audio book. (I couldn't compete the year my husband went through all 7 Harry Potters with them!)

Audio Books are also excellent resources for struggling readers, children with attention issues, and English Language Learners.  Hearing the words read in the correct rhythm, inflection, context, and emotion helps readers who cannot use those skills in their own reading.  Reading along with a novel as the audio takes the guess work out of pronunciation and inflection can help hesitant readers get over that final reading hurdle.

And, of course, they are a blessing for any family who wants a peaceful commute to school!

Resources: Audio Books and Literacy  ; Audiobooks and Literacy Toolbox; The Literacy Benefits of Listening ; Using Audio Books to Increase Literacy; Audible; Overdrive

Book recommendations, book reviews, quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Visit my Audio Book Bookshelf on Goodreads to see which books I devoured in Audio form!

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