WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

The Growing Popularity Of Audio Books

Audio books have come full circle. Once just for the blind, books on cassette and then CD first became available to the general public three decades ago, mostly in libraries or by subscription. Soon they popped up in bookstores, taking up a shelf or two. By the late '90s, big box stores featured whole walls of audio books. Now, in the age of digital downloads, book shelves are sparse once more. But the industry is thriving –- it’s currently estimated to be worth $1.2 billion. Many love the convenience of audio books and enjoy being read to. Critics argue listening to a narrated book is not the same as reading. Diane and her guests discuss the future of audio books.

Selected Audio Clips From The Program:

Agatha Christie’s “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” narrated by Laidman Browne (1935)

Jim Dale reading from “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

Frank Muller reading from “The Great Gatsby”

Katherine Kellgren reading from “The Cheshire Cheese Cat”

Frank McCourt reading from his autobiography, “Angela’s Ashes”

John Gielgud reading from Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night's Dream”

NPR

No Longer Omar: Actor Michael K. Williams On Lucky Breaks And Letting Go

Over the course of his career, Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like The Wire's Omar). In HBO's The Night Of, he plays a powerful prison inmate named Freddy.
NPR

#FoodPorn, Circa 1600s: Then And Now, It Was More About Status Than Appetite

A new study of old masters finds that capturing and showing off decadent and expensive meals is a decidedly old-fashioned practice. Like today's Instagrammers, it was all about projecting an image.
WAMU 88.5

The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

NPR

The Big Internet Brands Of The '90s — Where Are They Now?

Verizon's purchase of Yahoo will close the book on one of the oldest Internet companies. What happened to the other famous '90s brands, like GeoCities, Netscape and CompuServe? A nerdy remembrance.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.