By October 24, 2009 4 Comments Read More →

Audiobooks & Book Clubs

Not really reading or perfect partners? Curious minds want to know! I’m collecting information for an upcoming article in Booklist Magazine on the role of audiobooks in book clubs. As an audiobook blogger & columnist, I’ve received lots of requests from librarians and teachers interested in book clubs that welcome audiobook listeners with open arms, as well as questioning whether listeners face disdain from book club members who think audiobooks are cheating. Do you have experience with an audiobooks-only club? Have stories to tell about book club members who are dedicated listeners, but would never have participated in a printed-book-only club? How do you include critical discussion about audiobooks in your meetings? Are there members of your club who are vision impaired?  Are there clubs out there for the blind? Have you hosted a listening club for children or teens? Any tips or promotional success stories for integrating audiobooks in your book club? I’d love to hear your stories – both good and bad – about how listening to literature unites or divides the members of your clubs. Please send any anecdotes to along with a note granting or declining the use of your club’s name in the feature. Can’t wait to learn how creative clubs are adding listening into the literary discussion!



About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

4 Comments on "Audiobooks & Book Clubs"

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  1. I am the self-published author of “She Had No Enemies”. I’d like to provide it to book clubs in audio book form. Know how one might go about doing that?


  2.' Dee says:

    We have a book club that consists of ladies, only, and most of the members are retired. One lady who has been an avid reader has developed macular degeneration and can no longer read books. When possible we find audiobooks for her to “read” so she can participate in the discussion. Even if she can’t listen to a particular book she continues to attend the book club meetings to hear what other members have to say about the current book, and ask questions. This works well for her and for the club, too. We all are happy to have her remain an active member.

  3.' Linda Farmerie says:

    We’re an ages 45-70 neighborhood book group that includes 5 men and 8 women and has no name but you’re welcome to use any part of this email! We have 2 members who prefer audiobooks, one who had a stroke several years ago and finds it hard to read, especially if the book is longish, and one who has learning disabilities and prefers audio or large print if audio isn’t available. So, if a book comes in audio we’re all over it even though the rest of the group still prefers print. Those who have enjoyed the audio always bring up bits about the narrator, pacing, whether it was easy or hard to follow…during our discussions. I love audio and always have one going in the car and another one in progress on my night stand so I often have already listened to a book when it’s chosen by one of our members and I actually think that some books are better in audio than in print especially if the narrator is wonderful and that the audio often has a depth/richness to it that the print book doesn’t. Some in our group don’t like audio because they like to flip back to precious pages to check a detail or put post-its in areas that they want to bring up in discussion.

  4. Thanks for answering my question. I’m 59 and I wish I could provide my book in audio for these individuals.

    Good luck with the club.


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