By Eric Pottie
This week, I want to write about something that is strongly linked to the library: reading.
This time, I want to focus not on reading with your eyes but with your ears. To start this article, I ask this question, “Does listening to a book have the same value as reading it?” Take a moment and think about it.
To some people, the act of reading a book with you eyes is the only way to read and listening doesn’t count. However, people absorb information differently. Some are visual learners and others auditory.
But picture this: you go to a book club and have a full discussion about the book with another person. That person speaks eloquently about the plot, the characters and the imagery. Unless they tell you otherwise, you probably assume they read it but there is no way to tell. They clearly know the material.
There are a variety of ways to listen to books. At the library, we have books on CDs which you can check out for three weeks. These are great if you have a CD player or if you have a long commute.
We also have audio books called “Play-Aways”. These are sort of like an i-Pod. It is a small (about the size of a credit card), self-contained device that has a whole book recorded on it. All you need is a pair of headphones and an AAA battery to power it. These are perfect to listen to anywhere as they are light and portable. People can listen to a book while walking for example. Look for the orange box in the audio books section.
You can also get e-audio books online using Overdrive or Libby. Just like e-books, you can access these anywhere in the world, download them to your device and play them offline. Another interesting thing you can do with e-audio books is speed them up. Libby allows you to listen to a book three times faster than normal. So if you have lots of books you want to listen to but not a lot of time, you can fly through them.
These formats are also useful if you have a visual impairment or have difficulty reading but want to enjoy a range of reading material.
The Thomas H. Raddall library is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays 12-4 p.m. and closed Mondays.
The Alean Freeman Library is open Wednesdays 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
For more information about the library, you can find us on Facebook at South Shore Public Libraries, follow us on Twitter @ssplibraries or check our website at www.southshorepubliclibraries.ca. You can contact the Thomas H. Raddall branch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at