Have you seen Playaways? I think they are SO so nifty. It’s basically like a little MP3 player that comes all loaded with an audiobook.
They are pretty pricey (between $30 and $80 each, generally, depending on copyright and length and probably other factors I know nothing about), so they are not really meant for the casual consumer (unless you are very rich and also very happy to throw money around), but they’ve started to get very popular as an addition to library collections.
The Austin Public Library has just started offering them and I am ridiculously thrilled.
You have to supply your own AAA battery and headphones (which, I am completely for because I certainly have no interest in sharing earbuds with some sweaty gross teenager or sweaty gross old man (I am nothing, if not an equal opportunity ear sweat hater)).
You may know that I listen to a LOT of audiobooks, what with the driving to and from school and work and the elementary school library, not to mention the grocery store and Old Navy’s clearance racks. I also have a desk job, cook a lot, vacuum, fold laundry, and walk around campus, all of which allow me plenty of time to listen to various things.
Currently, I check out audiobooks from my library, which has a terrific collection, load them on to my computer, and then upload them to my iPod (and yes, I do delete them when I’m done (I get asked this all the time) because my poor tired old iBook G4 has no where near the space to hold the scores of audiobooks I’ve churned through in the past three years)).
Anyway, do you not think these are the coolest things ever? You must, I think, because they are so nifty. I hope, for you, that your library has them.
(P.S. I just went and looked more at the website and it turns out they do market to consumers too. I am kind of in shock that someone would pay $79 for a copy of The Hunger Games. I love that book as much as the next person, but really? SEVENTY NINE DOLLARS?! Do not even ask how much Jane Eyre costs ($84)).