Friday, September 17, 2010

Has everyone known about these except me? (Playaway audio books)

I did a solo drive yesterday -- two and a half hours down to southern Indiana and two and a half hours back -- and I knew before I left that I needed something to listen to. I know that it makes me out to be some kind of freak to admit this, but I hate listening to music in the car. I could play nothing but Aerosmith, Def Leppard and the Beatles on a long drive and all it would do is put me right to sleep. I have to have words.

So I went to our public library's website and looked up a book I'd been wanting to read but couldn't because the library owns only one copy and some dumb patron lost it. Do they maybe have it on audio book? I wondered. It turned out that the answer was yes, it's just that it wasn't on CD. It was preloaded onto this handy little device called a Playaway.

I hope I'm not the only dope out there who had never heard of a Playaway until the nice clerk at the public library put it into my hand. If you haven't heard of them either, click here for a description of how they work and click here for a list of titles. You can see the unit itself, front and back, in the pictures up there. It's a little smaller than an iPhone and the library in my city requests that patrons provide their own ear buds and triple-A battery. I got my copy, I suppose you could call it, of Charlaine Harris's Dead Until Dark -- and yes, I know it's hardly highbrow literature but I read a lot of Shakespeare and everyone needs a break sometimes, so shut up -- and deeply enjoyed my drive.

I noticed at the Playaway store that these little babies cost anywhere from around $34.99 to $104.00 each, so this definitely isn't something I'd ever buy for myself, but they're nifty little things and I've enjoyed using it today, too, while doing busy work around the house. Fun! I am a Playaway fan.


Kayte said...

Who knew?? Not me. I'm all for the Def concert in the car. I would get all involved in a book and forget to say, for instance, drive and pay attention to things like others on the road, signs, the road in general...Tom, Def, U2, Axl, line 'em all up and I'm ready for any amount of driving as long as the sciatica holds out.

Shauna said...

That is really cool! I've never heard of those! I'm no good with audio books, though. I get distracted too easily and end up missing big chunks of the plot. :) Doug is a BIG fan of audio books, though, so these are definitely something he would be interested in!