Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Audio Books

While I was in the checkout line at the bookstore, I noticed a display of audio books. The ones on display were The Notebook and The Broker, and I decided to browse through the rest of the selections. I've had friends tell me audio books are great, for air travel, road trips, or just listening to at home while doing other things. Krisanne recommends them for road trips because they really make the miles fly by, since you concentrate on the book a bit more than you would for music. My friend Tom really enjoys the adventures of Ruby, a galactic detective, and would listen to it during his commute.

The selection was quite broad: fantasy to classics to non-fiction. As I mused about painting and doing other errands while listening to a novel, I picked one up to check the price... and was shocked - these audio books ranged from $30 to $80! Geez, I was expecting just a few dollars more but for that much, I'm not sure it is worth it.

Still, I've heard good things about them and decided to keep browsing. I saw Life of Pi, which I am currently working through, Guns, Germs, and Steel, which I already own, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the classic War of the Worlds... as I looked I formed a checklist of what a perfect audio book would be. I decided this: it either needs to be one I would like to read by for whatever reason probably won't, or it needs to be one I'd like to "read" repeatedly, in order to justify the expense over the printed book version.

After checking out the entire selection, I found two candidates: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and Ulysses by James Joyce. I've heard both books are great, but somewhat painful to slog through. Thus, they fit the "I would like to read but probably won't" criterion perfectly.

In the end, I decided to not get one and instead try the half price book store to see if they had any. Or, try the library, as I understand they have some available for borrowing. Since the first Ruby episode is pretty cheap, I decided to order it.

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