Audiobooks: Raising the Bar for Reading

Before I started working at Rediscovered Books, I wasn’t sold on the idea of audiobooks. I really didn’t know how to try them out and see if I liked them. Once I got my foot in the door though, it was love. And I feel pretty lucky that where I work wants everyone to have that same eye-opening experience that I did. Sometimes our customers are surprised that a brick and mortar bookstore reps audiobooks, but it’s true! Most of us at Rediscovered listen to them and have found they’re a pretty wonderful way to enjoy a book.

So in case you missed it, we’ve brought audiobooks into our store through an awesome little company called Libro.fm. They’re a small business located in Seattle, Washington whose services mean we can feel really good about bringing audiobook options to our customers. In some unexpected ways, we’ve found that audiobooks have become an essential part of how we help our customers access the stories they need. I know for me, they’re a great option for when I’m busy or having trouble focusing. I can listen on my walk to work, when I’m painting or while I do chores around the house -- times when I wouldn’t be able to read a physical book. And for anyone who struggles with sight, could use help reading along, or just wants a new kind of reading experience, they are a powerful instrument.

We chose Libro.fm to help us bring audiobooks to the store for several reasons. First, they have a great mutual relationship with indie bookstores because if you’re a customer with us and buy audiobooks from Libro.fm, part of your purchases come back to us at Rediscovered Books, or other indie bookstore across the country that you’d like to support. They also have bookseller curated collections, so people like me get to recommend audiobooks to you! We also chose Libro.fm because small businesses help raise the standard of quality in their industries, and they are no exception. Their monthly membership fee is the same as They Who Shall Not Be Named, they have a great selection with personal recommendations, and they are DRM free so when you buy an audiobook, it’s yours forever to use and listen how you please. To top it all off, their customer service is unparalleled. They really listen and care about their customers; and it shows in what they do.

Some of our favorite audiobooks on Libro.fm use the audio format in unique ways that make the listening experience especially immersive. One of my current favorites is Meet Me at the Museum, by Anne Youngson, which is a book of letters written between an English woman and a Danish man who become friends over their many differences and the distance between them. The audiobook is fantastic because the letters are read in the voices of the characters, with English and Danish accents included. It’s quite adorable. Another favorite is Sadie, by Courtney Summers, which is told in the form of a podcast that documents the twists and turns of Sadie’s adventure as she works to find her sister’s killer.

We are so glad we can share audiobooks through our store and through Libro.fm. If you’re still not sure about exploring audiobooks or Libro.fm, come in and talk to us! We’d love to share our experiences and talk with you, especially if you have any questions. I hope that, like me, you find the experience to surpass your expectations as being easy, rewarding, and engaging at every turn.

By Cora Lee Oxley

Edited by Jane Alice Van Doren