Traveling? Enjoy an audiobook

Pulp-less Fiction: Digital Downloads

This blog is about new paperless reading materials like downloadable audio books, ebooks, and online magazines, made available to you through the Appleton Public Library. I plan to provide helpful tips on using these new products, along with reviews of audio books, music on cd, and movies on DVD and Blu-ray.  The library is changing as rapidly as your access to media and the Internet. We want to keep on top of the trends and bring you information and entertainment in a way that fits your life today.   -Beth

Seems like everyone is driving or traveling in the summer—check out a book on cd or Playaway or download a digital audio book to make those endless miles more enjoyable! 


Audio books are titles read or acted by voice actors—either an individual or a group.  The full cast audio books are like a play, with different actors playing the parts, sometimes with music and sound effects.  Listening to a book can give you a whole new experience compared to reading it.  Some staff favorites are listed on our Better As Audio booklist.


If you are traveling as a couple and want an audio book that both of you can enjoy, try one of the titles on our Road Trip for Two list. 


Summer is prime time for travel as a group.  Some favorite listens for the whole family appear on the Family Road Trip booklist.


The Appleton Public Library has audio books in several formats:


  • Books on CD are discs that can be used in car cd players, personal players and home entertainment systems. 

 Playaway coverPlayaway controls

  • Playaways are self-contained books on a small cartridge—no need to change discs.  They are light and easy to use when walking, running or traveling.  An adapter may be used to allow listening in your car.  You provide the AAA battery and use your own headphones or earbuds to listen.  The library also sells batteries (50 cents) and earbuds ($1.00) at the Information Desk if you are eager to get started.



  • Digital audiobooks are available for download via OverDrive or OneClickdigital.  They check out, using your library card number and PIN/password log in to set up your account.  Depending on the format, they can be downloaded on or transferred to mp3 players, mobile devices such as tablet computers and smart phones, as well as your desktop computer.  Thousands of titles are available to you for free.

 SYNC YA poster

A special free program for those who listen to YA books allows you to download and keep two free audio books each week.  There are two titles per week during the summer, a YA title and a classic--see the titles here.  Publishers have donated use of these titles, and the site is hosted by Audiofile.  Check it out at ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


There are also free audio sites online, but titles are generally not read by voice actors, so the voice quality may vary.  However the price is right!  Check out Librivox, Librophile, and Books Should Be Free.


Enjoy a great listen this summer!

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