The 100 Mile House Cariboo Regional District Library has launched a new audiobook club.
Unlike a traditional book club, the audiobook club is for those who prefer to listen to literature narrated by an actor or author. Area librarian Shelby Byer said she started it as an alternative to the branch’s regular book club, which has been running since 2020.
“I wanted to offer something a little bit different. I myself got into audiobooks during the pandemic as something different to do,” Byer said.
Listening to an audiobook provides a different experience than reading it, Byer said, as someone with good charisma and cadence can elevate a book, especially non-fiction. The best narrators tend to be the authors of the books themselves, such as her recent favourite, Greenlights, written and narrated by actor Matthew McConaughey.
“I find that if the author is narrating, it brings me into the story a lot easier than if it’s just somebody reading from a page,” Byer said. “It’s his words, coming from him.”
For the club, Byer doesn’t assign a specific book. Instead, she chooses a broad theme or genre each month and gives out a pamphlet with title suggestions. She said audiobooks are a “very personal choice for some people.”
When the club gets together at the library, Byer has them listen to an audio recording related to the month’s theme. In February, when they explored True Crime, she played a video of YouTuber Bailey Sarian talking about the Salem Witch Trials. Once done, she opens up the floor for the groups to discuss what they listened to that month and their thoughts on the genre.
“It’s a little more hands-on than a regular book club and more than just the discussion,” Byer said. “We come in, we listen to an audio clip to get the discussion going and then we just dive in and talk about what we like about the genre or theme.”
The audiobook club, which just started in February, is small right now but Byer hopes it will grow. Whether people listen to audiobooks for convenience or as something to do to pass time doing chores, she welcomes anyone to join the club.
“For some people, it’s the convenience. They have a long commute or if they just can’t read for very long anymore because of poor eyesight,” Byer said. “But for some people, it’s how your imagination works. Maybe hearing the story being read to you you’re able to vividly see that story better than if you were reading it on the page.”
The library has a collection of audiobooks including traditional CD audiobooks and online e-audiobooks. The latter is becoming increasingly popular, she added, because many modern cars no longer come with CD players.
The public can access audiobooks online through the Libby App. After finding the CRD library system in the app, Byer said you just need to input your library card number to freely download e-books and audiobooks on your phone or computer.
“That way you don’t have to use data when you’re driving, or if you’re driving in an area without wifi,” Byer said. “I have helped patrons navigate how to use that in their car if they’re not sure how to plug their phone in.”
This month the audiobook club’s theme is inspiration, with Byer encouraging members to read short stories or books that inspire and uplift them. The club meets next on Wednesday, April 5 at 6 p.m. Anyone 13 and older is welcome to attend.
“We discuss more than the story. We want to discuss the narrator and other details you don’t get from reading a traditional book,” Byer said. “Even if you’ve listened to a podcast or a story on the radio and you want to come in and share that with the club, we’d love to hear about it.”
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