Have you become an Audible Platinum listener yet? 24 books for $229.50, which works out to $9.56 per book. If the average book is about 10 hours, then you are only paying a buck an hour. Libraries are still the best deal (plus you get to hang out with librarians who will recommend the perfect book), but the Audible Platinum plan is the next best thing.
The main problem with audiobooks is not the format (although Audible's DRM is colossally stupid), the cost (which seems reasonable), or the Audible website (which still is atrocious compared to its parent, Amazon.com). The main problem with audiobooks isn't even the fact that too many books are not available in this format (although the absence of an audio version of Kaplan's "Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power" is driving me nuts).
The main problem with audiobooks is that people keep wanting to talk to me while I'm listening.
I'll be walking across campus, happily listening to my book (I'm now reading Mukherjee's amazing "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer") and I'll meet someone I know. To converse politely requires a fumbling in my jacket find my iPod to pause the audio, and an awkward yanking of the earbuds from my ears.
At home, I'll be doing the dishes or folding laundry or something, and my kids or spouse will decide they want to talk with me. First they get frustrated that I have the audiobook going, and then once I go through the effort of pausing my book they no longer want to converse.
So here are the audiobook accessories that I want:
Discreet Bluetooth Headphone: I'm thinking something bigger than a Secret Service earpiece, but smaller than a standard bluetooth headset. Audiobooks are fine in one ear, so a regular bluetooth headset (without the voice pickup feature) would be great. I can't find the right one. Any ideas?
Discreet But Accessible Pause Button: I need a fast way but discrete way to pause my audiobook. A very simple remote control that I can put in my pocket. Pause and play will work. What about this one?
I'm thinking that once I'm set-up with these audiobook accessories that my reading time can dramatically increase.
What audiobook accessories do you want?