For avid readers who struggle to find the time to read, living in the fast lane can make life stressful. You may find yourself in need of that “me”-time, despite all the schoolwork, house chores, or corporate reports. Perhaps it is time to digitally connect with your favorite pastime.

After the discovery of the technology to record audio and the availability of cheaper sound recording equipment, audiobooks became more popular. Audiobooks were first recorded for visually impaired people. They were primarily educational in nature and competed with audio media such as radio programs, which are audio media but were meant for entertainment.

There are currently three main formats for audiobooks. Each format has its relative advantages.

>> Cassette Tape audiobook — These are the first audiobook formats that were mass-released. Although their popularity has declined over the years, cassette tape audiobooks remain in circulation and are rare finds for serious collectors.

Compact Disc audiobook – CD audiobooks are a highly-marketable addition to any book published between the late ’90s & early 2000s. Many books that were made into audiobooks were nonfiction and covered topics ranging from business to personal growth.

>> The latest format of audiobooks is the downloadable audiobook. These digitally-formatted audiobooks allow for the production and distribution major fiction works in this format.

The third format is the most preferred and the most practical of the three. Its convenience is the greatest attraction.

In terms of accessing a copy, using it and storing it, digital audiobooks are the best format. Online bookstores are the best place to find audiobooks that you can download. Most publication houses also release audiobook versions of their latest bestsellers…speaking of which, you can also check the websites of publication houses since they usually have online catalogs where you can see the availability of any particular book’s alternative format that you can purchase. While eBooks and audiobooks are more expensive than traditional paperbacks, they offer many additional features that you won’t find in traditional paperbacks.

Audiobooks can be downloaded to your iPhone, iPod or other audio-playing device. It is easy to store your audiobooks, given their small size (rarely exceeding gigabytes) as well as the ease of indexing. You can treat audiobook downloads in the same way as music files on your computer, or audio-players. You can rewind and play the book as you wish. You can also save hundreds of books depending on how large your device’s memory. This allows you to listen to the book while on vacation or doing routine chores.

Readers get an extra bonus: Once you start listening, your favorite literary works will come alive as voice acting adds a rich storytelling layer to the story. Get audiobooks and enjoy a new way to get through your books!

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