Blogger Confession: Audiobooks have been in my life since the 70s

Posted June 8, 2015 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 20 Comments


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I have a not-so-secret Blogger Confession:
Audiobooks have been in my life since the 70s!

Back story: Audiobooks in one form or another have been in my life since I was a kid in the mid-70s! I was that kid who had a record player and read-a-long records: Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Pete’s Dragon, Mary Poppins, Disney Stories. I used to love reading a-long with the adventures of my favorite characters. I remember getting new records and listening to them till they warped. I had both sizes of players but my favorite was a little 45Β  that I could carry around like a lunch box. Oh the hours of enjoyment I would get out of these little magical disks of happiness! In fact here are a few that I still have to this day (though sadly none of my 45s *sad face*):


In the 80s my family went on a LOT of road trips. We would have sing-a-longs and then listen to books on tape! We listened to everything from Disney Books on Tape to Stephen King. It was often whatever one could be rented at the truck stop and turned in at the next one (Sadly most cassette tape books were abridged something I can’t stand now but was fine back then)! When we couldn’t find one, then I would read out loud to my family while we are on our adventures. So I guess you could say I even was a book narrator πŸ™‚Β  I actually still have some books on cassette tape that I am determined to “convert” into a shadowbox “memory” at some point!! I think my walkmans got equal playing time between books and music—as a teenager that was a real struggle because both sang to my soul! To this day it is still a struggle but one I happily welcome (though music doesn’t get listened to nearly as much)!


Fast forward to today where my number of audiobooks (physical and mp3) rivals my number paperbacksΒ  and you get a clear picture of how much happiness they bring into my life. Yes folks those are two full (and running out of room) shelves of physical audiobooks (not counting the ones my parents have of mine).Β  To be honest, I am working on converting these to MP3 and donating them. However, while I get to it they have a safe place in my book room!

Audiobook Shelves

There have been so many narrators throughout the years that have made me laugh, cry, fist-pump, cringe, and whoop it up. Even in the early days when the quality wasn’t like it is today the enjoyment of listening was still there. I remember when we would stumble upon a really good narrator and go looking for books they narrated. I have discovered many “new to me” authors through narrators because I like their reading (performance) style. That is something that I can’t even begin to tell you shaped my reading life. I can’t imagine my life without audiobooks and wouldn’t want too.

So to the narrators that have brought so much listening enjoyment into my life: THANK YOU!

Happy June is Audiobook Month y’all! Now go get your listen on! πŸ™‚



Felicia S
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20 responses to “Blogger Confession: Audiobooks have been in my life since the 70s

  1. It’s weird to admit, but I was never as big of a reader as I am these days. I don’t think I actually started to really enjoy and pay attention to what I was reading until about 2008 or so, before I started blogging. I mean, yeah, I liked reading, but I wouldn’t do it all the time. I think I just needed the right books to really get into reading like I do now. Anyway, when I was younger, I liked being read to and my brother would read my stories into a cassette player and say ‘turn the page’ when I needed to, so I could follow along. When we went on vacation, we’d usually drive somewhere so that was a great way to pass the time! I don’t think I got into audiobooks until about 3 years ago or so … they’re wonderful for sneaking in more books during the week!

  2. As a kid, I loved going to the library and picking out a handful of read-a-long books – they came in plastic bags with handles at the top so you could carry them home and they had a picture book and cassette tape to listen and read along with! I loved it and I think I actually had gone through their whole selection at one point. *sigh*
    Book Nerd Problems already at a young age.

    I then kind of forgot about audiobooks until the last few years – my sister would borrow audiobooks and listen to a CD walkman while at work. And then my Mom was starting to enjoy then while she played online games. So I gave them a try again. I have a few on my shelves from the ones my Mom owned (before she passed away) and I have two review copies that I just adored. I tend to borrow most of mine from the library, but might ask for a few to review soon.

    My most recent one I will be reviewing on my blog shortly. It made me cry so much. It was amazing!

    Thanks for sharing your audiobook journey with us. PS I like the idea of the shadowbox!

  3. I really love audiobooks as well…I am always listening to one, I do a ton of working out and walking/running and things and listening to books in audio format is perfect. Some of my first audio books were so amazing it made me fall in love with them. And they are great for when your traveling too.

  4. How cool! I didn’t start listening to audiobooks until a couple years ago. I don’t think I even knew they were a thing really. As a kid I had a Teddy Ruxpin that I LOVED so I guess he was my first narrator lol. I have a hazy memory of listening to a Nicholas Sparks audiobook on a road trip, but it wasn’t particularly memorable (I think because his books aren’t my thing really) . I wish I had descovered them as young as you, but better late than never right?

  5. Confession: My first audiobook was on cassette. My husband and I would listen to it in the car on commutes. I don’t even remember what it was. This tells me so much; it’s no wonder you are the audiobook queen. πŸ™‚

  6. I had a couple of audios as a kid but really didn’t get into them until I found that playing them during a long trip made things go quicker. As many as I do lately, I do think I’m a convert. πŸ™‚

  7. Oh totally me as well. I had a record player and I adored listening to my little books on it. I spent hours and hours with my record player and I had a Fisher Price Talk To Me Player that played books as well. I never thought about it, but I too have been listening to books since the seventies I recall starting when I was about five. Audiobooks are fantastic. I am getting my kids started on them, we check out audiobooks for kids at the library as well. I wish they had more options available, I remember having tapes and records for the disney stories, and now cd books are hard to find for kids.

  8. Oh wow, Felicia!! I did have some cassettes and vinyls with books on too, when I was younger, but I preferred reading myself. I think it may be because I read so quickly. I am trying to listen to more audiobooks, though, because it’s so great to be able to listen to a story while I do other stuff, like walking, working out, folding clothes etc.
    No wonder you love audios so much, though, since they’ve been a part of your life since forever πŸ˜‰

  9. Ichabod Temperance

    I am new to audiobooks. I am an author considering releasing my books in this format.
    A question for Felicia:
    Would you consider doing an article on things you look for in an audio book? Maybe give some helpful tips or common pitfalls of which to beware.
    From this article, it seems that everyone prefers a faster pace of talking!
    Happy Reading!

    • Actually I am doing a guest post on that for The Book Nympho that will post later this month. I will send you the link when it goes live!

  10. I never thought of it till now but I guess I listened to audios back then too..I remember having the records with the stories on them! I do know that I tried picking audios up in the early 90’s and it was a Danielle Steele’s novel, don’t remember the title but it bored me to death It was horrid, so I don’t know if I just needed to try a different one or what but it put me off audios till a few years ago when I grabbed a James Patterson Alex Cross novel and it had bullets flying and glass breaking..was so cool..the narrator was great and I got hooked. πŸ™‚

    • Some books on tape in the 80s/90s were horrid (very monotone or overly dramatic) but others were pretty good. I think I remember Danielle Steele’s being over dramatic (but then again so were the made for TV movies with Stephanie Zimbalist that were made out of the books LOL). Isn’t it crazy the wild journey that Books on Tape have gone through.

      • The one I tried was very monotoned…and I am very impressed how they make them so much more interesting now. I always felt sorry for those who have to listen because of blindness, etc as I don’t think I could have during that time period, but now they are awesome..some times just that added touch they do can really make or break an audio now.

  11. I’ve listened to audiobooks also for many years! Back when I first started listening, I only did so while driving, particularly on road trips as I lived in Northern Virginia and there’s no way you could concentrate on a book tape in that traffic. My boyfriend (now hubby) lived 5 hours driving time away and I used to rent books from Cracker Barrel for the trips. I have many wonderful memories of listening during those boring rides. Now with digital downloads, the opportunities for listening have expanded dramatically (cleaning, cooking, bathing) but I’ll always remember those cassette tapes that made those long drives enjoyable.

    • I loved that they would allow renting. I remember the first time we found some at a truck stop and the lady was like “yep it is something that we are trying”. It worked so well for road trips. Our library in town was so small that books on tape weren’t even a thing (except for the ones we donated) but those truck stops were life savers (family of 5 in a car for days on end—we didn’t kill each other LOL) πŸ™‚

      • I know! At the time I was renting these, Cracker Barrel was the only affordable option. Until I discovered them, I was buying them and they weren’t cheap. It never even occurred to me to check my library, either. Now, I get about 90% of my audiobooks from the digital library.