For anyone who spends a lot of time in the car, or simply isn't interested in another formulaic sitcom in the evening, audiobooks and podcasts are a life saver. Between work, graduate school, and all of the other responsibilities that come with adulthood, little time has been left lately to read for pleasure. Rather than listen to the hit of the week for the 200th time on Top 40 radio, I have been listening to a great number of audiobooks and podcasts. The podcasts I download free from iTunes and cover everything from ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show to comedians like Kevin Pollack's Chat Show to various NPR and 60 Minutes episodes.
I haven't set foot in a public library building in several months (should I admit that as a librarian??), but I have been adding to the county library system's circulation statistics on a weekly basis. Right now I'm listening to Life, the autobiography of Keith Richards that is read by Johnny Depp. Even though I love biographies, I don't know if I would have had time to pick up the hardcover, but I can't turn off the audiobook. Many established and very talented actors are getting in on the audiobook game. Anne Hathaway's reading of The Princess Diaries, whose film she also starred in, is terrific. Maggie Gyllenhaal reading a very depressing The Bell Jar, The Rivalry performed by Paul Giamatti and David Strathairn about the Lincoln-Douglass debates, and Inkspell and Dragon Rider read in a plethera of voices by Brendan Fraser are all brilliant.The books I borrowed from the public library are downloaded through the OverDrive program onto my iPod right from home and others I borrowed on CD or Playaway from my school library. I love the fact that I can take them anywhere to listen to them - the doctor's office, rare quiet moments at work, long or short car rides, or through my television with a special cable while I do chores around the apartment. I never thought I would like audiobooks, but with a talented reader they can become quite an addiction - and life saver for those of us with little time to sit down :)