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Definition: audiobook

A spoken version of a book published in an electronic format. Audiobooks date back to the 1930s when the U.S. government created the Talking Book program for the blind. The first recording platform was aluminum discs, and subsequent formats have been vinyl records, tape cassettes, CDs and finally digital downloads.

Teaching and Recreation
Audiobooks have been used for teaching as well as personal enjoyment. Drivers use audiobooks on long commutes, and countless people enjoy listening to a book rather than reading; however, an audiobook is very often an abbreviated version of a published work. Unlike a printed book where readers react only to the writing quality, the enjoyment of an audiobook has much to do with the voice and intonation of the narrator. See podcast.