Audio book sales were down by 5.7% in February according to the AAP but up overall by 5.6%. Audible is trying to increase its market by reaching out to kids. According to an AP article, 1/3 of all youth have an ipod or some other mp3 player. The goal is to reach these kids so that they listen to books instead of music.
I can get behind that concept and I also like the idea of audio books turning the reluctant reader into an avid reader. However, one statement made by Audio Publishers Association president Michele Cobb was worrisome:
I hear lots of people talking, saying that when they put their kids to bed, they put them down with an audiobook
While I am a big fan of supplemental book sources such as kidthing, I don’t think that there is any replacement for a parent reading to his or her child. Even when my daughter watches an animated book, she likes for me to sit with her and the evening hours when she is put to bed? I wouldn’t want to be replaced by an Ipod when she still wants me to read to her. The day is coming when the iPod will be more important so I am going to treasure our reading time until then.
Audible was purchased by Amazon earlier this year.