Do People Still Listen to Books on Tape?

J.L. Wall

J.L. Wall is a native Kentuckian in self-imposed exile to the Midwest, where he teaches writing to college students and over-analyzes Leonard Cohen lyrics.

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12 Responses

  1. Burt Likko says:

    If by “tape” you mean “CD,” then yes, two of the partners here at my firm do. I listen to the Great Courses lectures a lot.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I have a whole bunch of TTC lectures lined up, but I can’t quite bring myself to to eggheading in the car. The closest I have come to that was when I was listening to Obama’s books and an anti-Obama book in the run-up to the 2008 election. I just started Dance with Dragons.Report

  2. Tod Kelly says:

    Will and I were just talking about this. I love to listen to them, but only while driving – and then only over long distances. Some of my favorites are the Terry Pratchetts read by Nigel Planer (the guy from The Young Ones) that does different voices for dozens of characters so effortlessly that you forget it’s a guy reading.Report

  3. Chris says:

    I haven’t listened to them in years, but I used to listen to them late night in the lab when I was in grad school. At one point, I listened to Miles Davis’ autobiography, read by LeVar Burton. Anyone who grew up when I did will know Burton as the host of “Reading Rainbow,” and therefore as a beloved childhood icon. As a result, it was very disturbing to hear him use some of the words that Davis liked to use in pretty much every sentence. I think I was a little bit traumatized by the experience. Good autobiography, though.Report

  4. Christopher Carr says:

    I had to read Wise Blood for school when I was fourteen years old. I was definitely too young to appreciate Flannery O’Connor.Report

  5. Mike Schilling says:

    I listened to books on tape, back when I had a significant car commute (it’s down to 8 minutes each way now.) Agreed about he wonderfulness of Nigel Planer’s Discworld narrations. Graham Greene is also first rate: Our Man in Havana and The Quiet American in particular, and LeCarr’s classic works (up through the Karla trilogy) are also favorites.

    Warning: anything that’s already talky in print (Lord Jim, Absalom, Absalom, etc.) will make you want to pull your ears off.Report

  6. Brad says:

    I am addicted to books on….uh “recorded books.” I usually get them from the library and listen in the car. Mostly The Teaching Company and Modern Scholar.

    The challenge they will have is moving to Audible (or another audio download format.) CDs are OK but not portable like an mp3.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Brad says:

      Converting a CD to mp3 is pretty trivial, and has the advantage that, with a compression rate appropriate for speech, you can easily fit an entire book on one CD or many into one mp3 player.Report