The Growing Popularity Of Audio Books | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Chris Offutt Reveals A Family Secret In 'My Father, The Pornographer'

Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. The writer tells Fresh Air his dad believed he would be "extremely famous" for it.
NPR

Italian Cheese Lovers Find Their Bovine Match Through 'Adopt A Cow'

The cheeses of the Italian Alps are prized for their flavor. But the tradition of cheese-making here is dying off. Now remaining farmers are banding together around an unusual adoption program.
NPR

Clinton's Portrait Has Hint Of Lewinsky's Blue Dress, Artist Says

Nelson Shanks tells the Philadelphia Daily News a shadow on the left side of the painting represents not only the infamous dress, but also "a shadow on the office he held, or on" President Clinton.
NPR

Nasdaq Index Hits 5,000 For First Time Since 2000

The NASDAQ composite index returned to territory it hasn't seen since the heyday of the dot-com boom, crossing the 5,000 mark in early trading Monday.

Leave a Comment

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