Avid readers are now finding a new way to satisfy their love of books. A study sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association has shown that 21% of families surveyed reported at least one family member who listens to audio books, and the percentage keeps growing. Sales of audio books are now said to be about $2 billion a years, according to the APA. Once thought of as a medium for those with bad vision, the world of audiobooks has expanded hugely and major publishers now routinely promote their best-selling authors in audio book format.
Who listens to these books? Researchers found that they have a broad appeal to several diverse groups of busy readers:
1. Students, who are used to multi-tasking, can listen to audio books on their I-pods while running, working out or walking to class.
2. Young couples with small children who never seem to have enough time to themselves enjoy listening to a chapter or two while doing tasks around the house.
3. Most traditional readers love the fact that they can keep up with their ‘reading’ while driving their daily commute, turning a usually boring time into an enriching experience. Motivation, self-help and fiction are all in demand to these listeners.
4. Readers who are pressed for time enjoy the availability the many titles immediately available for direct download online.
5. Many readers remember the pleasure of being read to as a child, and just simply enjoy the experience. The fact that some of these audiobooks are read by their authors just adds to the joy they find in listening.
In fact, there are now strictly audio book clubs forming, and books are considered not just for content, but also the quality of the narrator or performer.
Look for this medium of audiobooks to keep growing and offering more ‘reads’ to this expanding medium. Readers have always loved books, and now listeners can, too.