This is the last week to come see the "Reading the World: Tablet to Tablet" exhibit at the Mandeville Branch. If you haven't had a chance to stop by and view the displays, we hope that you will take some time this week to visit. After seeing the exhibit, if you still want to learn more, check out the display cabinet at the front of the branch, which holds a collection of books highlighting different aspects of the history of the book. And don't forget to check out the other blogs in this series!
So far we have focused on the written word, but many of us enjoy listening to our favorite books. Today an audiobook is a must for a long commute or a car trip with the family. But recorded literature dates back to the invention of the phonograph in 1877 when poetry and short stories were recorded on wax cylinders.
In the 1930s, talking books, full-length recorded novels, began to appear. Recorded on long-playing records for people with visual disabilities, the average novel fit on ten records. The National Library Service for the Blind still distributes talking books today, and unlike regular audiobooks, talking books remain free to the recipients.The State Library of Louisiana has a collection of over 75,000 non-print books and magazines that they mail to state residents of all ages. They will even loan playback machines to those receiving talking books.
In the 1950s recording companies began providing spoken word books to the public, and books on tape joined the mainstream with the invention of the cassette. The term audiobook became the standard term in 1994, to encompass the rapidly changing formats. CDs replaced cassettes in popularity around 2003; however, today the CD has been replaced by digital audiobooks (eAudiobooks) by many readers. eAudiobooks are available through the library's free apps: Overdrive, Libby, Hoopla, and Cloud Library.
The Audio Publishers of America present the Audie Awards every year, recognizing the best audiobooks in more than twenty categories. Check out some of the 2017 winners available through the St. Tammany Parish Library:
Best Audio Drama
Best Female Narrator
Excellence in Design