Thursday, January 10, 2008

Something Cool at the Library

At the Kansas City Public Library (Plaza Branch) the other day I noticed a display of what are called Playaway books. These are unabridged books that come in a prepackaged MP3 player small enough to fit in your pocket. The library sells ear buds (the only thing not included) for $1.00. The controls are easy to use, enabling listeners to control volume, playback speed, flip between chapters, fast forward and reverse, and set a bookmark so the next session starts from that point. The video cassette style case the library bundles the player into even includes an extra AAA battery in case the battery in the player runs down. A librarian told me the Playaway audio books have just been added to the library holdings.

What a wonderful idea!

I checked out 1776 by David McCullough and Muhammad by Karen Armstrong. These are perfect for use in the car. Lots of titles are available. The Playaway site includes a catalog of titles, plus more information about the player. It appears that the Playaway site catalog is not comprehensive: it did not list Muhammad by Karen Armstrong, for example.

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