standing Westerly Library

Audiobook sales have been rising for the last decade, and their popularity surged even higher during the early days of the pandemic. The number of kids listening to audiobooks, in particular, has skyrocketed over the last couple of years. If you haven’t yet jumped on the bandwagon, there’s no better time to start! I’m not proud to say it, but there was a time when my husband would say he “read an audiobook” and I would raise an eyebrow. I’ve come around, though ... given their increased accessibility, convenience, and the positive findings coming from research on “listening vs. reading,” there’s a lot to love about audiobooks!

One of the biggest draws of this format is their portability. They’re easy to listen to on the go and while multitasking, like during the morning commute, your run in the park, or even while doing the dishes. I suppose an argument could be made that the same could be accomplished with a print book, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

Then, there’s the enjoyment factor — some people find listening to a book much more engrossing and entertaining than simply reading it. This can be especially true when it comes to full-cast audiobooks, which often feature well-known actors. One of the best examples of this is George Saunder’s acclaimed novel “Lincoln in the Bardo” (2017), which is performed by a cast of 166 individuals, including big names like Nick Offerman, Susan Sarandon, and Don Cheadle. It’s a true performance, and worth experiencing even if you’ve already read the book. Another popular pick is “The Final Revival of Opal & Nev” by Dawnie Walton, which won an Audie Award for fiction in 2022. I haven’t read (or listened!) to it yet, but the interview-style format and fictional rock band is giving me “Daisy Jones and the Six” vibes, so it’s definitely on my list.

There’s something really special about hearing an autobiography or memoir in the author’s own voice, as well. These books are already so personal, and hearing the words directly from their own mouth adds an extra layer of intimacy. Audiobook memoirs like “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah, “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama, and “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner have all received praise for the narrator’s performance. For a newer book, check out Viola Davis’s memoir “Finding Me,” which she recently won a Grammy for, and consequently became the 18th person in history to achieve the status of EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award winner). I can’t imagine it being anything but amazing.

We have a great collection of books on CD at the library, including all of the ones mentioned here. If you prefer downloadable audio, you can access thousands of them through the Libby app, which is free with a library card. Libby is replacing the Overdrive app, which is being discontinued at the end of April, so it’s a good time to transition over. If you need any assistance, reach out to us for help!

Top Requested Books

1. “Spare” by Prince Harry

2. “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus

3. “I Will Find You” by Harlan Coben

4. “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver

5. “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin

6. “The House in the Pines” by Ana Reyes

7. “Simply Lies” by David Baldacci

8. “Mad Honey” by Jodi Picoult

9. “The Five-Star Weekend” by Elin Hilderbrand

10. “A World of Curiosities” by Louise Penny

Top Requested DVDs

1. “A Man Called Otto”

2. “The Fabelmans”

3. “The Whale”

4. “Babylon”

5. “Women Talking”

6. “Triangle of Sadness”

7. “The Old Way”

8. “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

9. “Devotion”

10. “Tár”

This Week

MONDAY — 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Kids Take and Make: Animal Hand Puppets – Stop by the library makerspace for a craft kit! We have different animal hand puppets to choose from; 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Crafternoon To-Go | Beeswax Wraps – This month we’re making sustainable and useful reusable food wraps. One kit per person; 2-4 p.m., Quilting Group – Bring your supplies and practice your crafting skills with others. We help with quilting, embroidery, felting, knitting, and crocheting; 5-6 p.m., Teen Garden Club – Help us build the Teen Space Germination Station and discuss all things plants!

TUESDAY — 11-11:30 a.m., Mini Monets – Each month we will feature an artist and create a masterpiece in their art style. This month we are learning about Jackson Pollack and creating splatter shamrocks. Please dress your child in clothing that can get paint on it! This event is for ages 2-5; 4-5 p.m., Tabletop Tuesdays – Ages 8-12 are invited to join us in playing various tabletop role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons! Snacks provided; 4-5:30 p.m., Spring Dungeons and Dragons – Now is your chance to register for a spot in our weekly role playing game. Registration closes March 14th. This program is for teens in grades 7-12; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Group – A friendly knitting, crochet, needlework, and yarn craft club.

WEDNESDAY — 10-10:30 a.m., Family Storytime – Best for ages birth-11 years; 2-3:30 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Wednesday to address your tech questions. Preregistration is required; 5-6 p.m., Pride Club – Meet other LGBTQIA2+ teens and allies while enjoying snacks, playing games, and hanging out; 6-7 p.m., Cookbook Club – We’ll be talking about Mark Bittman’s book “Dinner for Everyone” while enjoying recipes we’ve prepared! Contact to register.

THURSDAY — 1-2 p.m., Homeschool Hangout – Join other homeschooled teens in grades 7-12 to make friends, play games, and complete schoolwork; 4-5 p.m., Crafternoon Thursday – Stop in for weekly crafting activities and snacks; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – Players of all skill levels are welcome.

FRIDAY — 10-11 a.m., Project Outreach Veterans Assistance – Members of organization are on site to aid veterans in navigating available benefits and other services.

SATURDAY ­­— 1-2 p.m., The Irish Coastal Club presents Keegan and Eva | Music of Ireland – Come out for an afternoon of Irish music by Eva Meier (fiddle & vocals) and Keegan Loesel (uilleann pipes, whistles & vocals); 1-3 p.m., Esports and Tabletop Games – Enjoy gaming with both tabletop and video games. Use our Nintendo Switch console or bring your own in handheld mode to play along with friends; 1:30-2 p.m., STEAM Squad – We will explore aerodynamics with balsa wood gliders and paper airplanes. This program is for ages 8-12, and snacks are provided!

Cassie Skobrak is an adult services librarian at the Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.