This post was written by Friday blogger Annie Reid.
The NY Times asks, is listening to an audio book reading?
But audio books, once seen as a kind of oral CliffsNotes for reading lightweights, have seduced members of a literate but busy crowd by allowing them to read while doing something else. Digital audio that can be zapped onto an MP3 player is also luring converts. The smallest iPod, the Shuffle, holds roughly four books; the newest ones include a setting that speeds up the narration without raising the pitch.
“I wish I had had this feature while listening to ‘Crime and Punishment, ” said Lee Kyle, 41, a math teacher in Austin, Tex., who now listens in bed instead of reading. It’s more relaxing, he said, and he doesn’t have to bother his wife with the light.