Audio Book Club

I am meeting with the manager of one of Halifax’s public libraries today.  I pitched an idea a while ago: to form an audio book club.  To date, book clubs in Halifax, have been of the print variety.  I thought that it would be a good idea to bring together both sighted audio book lovers (and there are lots of those) and non-sighted folks. That way, some blind people will be using the Halifax system for the first time (a good thing) and will also have a chance to discuss in a group, their experience with the selected title. Simple. It’s a pilot project, which might expand to include groups at other libraries.  People have asked me, Why not join a regular club and listen to the audio version? The problem with this, is twofold: many ‘current’ book club selections are not available in audio format.  The majority of the titles available, are ABRIDGED! This is a major problem that puts a burr under my saddle. I don’t want to ‘read’ half of a book.  Also, the advantage of sharing the common experience of reading an audio format book, is that the discussion can include other aspects important to us, like narrator’s voice quality and skill. So, we’re off to set this puppy up! Why not do the same in your community?

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4 responses to “Audio Book Club

  1. totallyskewed

    Sounds like you’re on to something with this book club idea!

    As an author and a producer of an audio book (Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road), I made the decision to release an abridged audio book for several reasons.

    First, some of the humor essays included in the print version of my book did not convert well to spoken format. (List items and certain other structural elements don’t always translate easily from written to spoken words.)

    Another factor I had to consider was that CDs hold a limited number of minutes of content (about 79 minutes). So the confines of the medium, as well as packaging and price concerns (Adding one more CD for those last few tracks would have changed the packaging costs substantially.), come into play when determining how much to include in an audio book.

    I share this only to say that most authors and audio book producers do not wish to cheat listeners from having the full book experience.

    Your audio book club is a fantastic idea!

  2. Was your book made available to the libraries for the Blind (to be recorded by volunteers)? As for the problem of multiple CD sets, that’s no longer a valid consideration. Everyone is going with MP3 or WAV formated files that fit on one nice disc that holds the entire book (up to 35 hours). You don’t need a DAISY (digital audio information systems) player at $500.00 bucks a pop, to play them either. Any microsystem will do. My Sony system cost $70.00 + tax. Even more exciting, is the big surge to downloadable digital audio books (UNABRIDGED!) powered by groups such as ‘Overdrive’. Many public libraries now offer these books for ‘loan’. And the audio book club is meeting for the first time on May 7th!!!

  3. And one more thing. People who are restricted to audio books because of vision loss? they expect all books to be accessible in their entirety (unabridged), regardless of how ‘awkward’ a book translates into audio…and there’s plenty of them! we slog through them, just like print readers wade through page after page of seemingly senseless material. Even diagrams and photographs must be ‘described’…it’s only fair.

  4. Excellent idea! Did you ever have success with this? I know that there are online book clubs. However, building a face-to-face book lover’s community is also important.

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