Playaways – Another Audiobook Format

Photo of The Silent Patient on a Playaway

My parents were recently in New Mexico, and a friend of theirs showed them the audioboook she was listening to on a device called a Playaway that she had checked out from the Alamogordo Public Library. I had never heard of it, and I can’t help but feel like I should have known about this.

So if you’re like me and never heard of Playaways, I’ll help you out. Basically, a Playaway is a portable listening device with an audiobook preloaded onto it. It has some pretty nifty features:

  • Reverse by chapter or within a chapter
  • Fast forward by chapter or within a chapter
  • 5 narration speeds

It’s easy to use, great for technology-challenged patrons. And it’s small. It’s about half the size of a deck of cards. It bookmarks the spot where you left off so you don’t lose your place in the book. You can also lock the controls so that you don’t accidentally fast forward or something while you’re listening.

It requires 1 AAA battery, which the company says lasts for about 30 hours of play. You will also need earphones or speakers. You can plug it into your car’s aux jack.

The price is a little more than either a CD audiobook or e-audiobook, but it does come with a 1 year limited warranty. Here are the prices I found for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (which, by the way, Carol and I listened to on our way to a conference in Knoxville and highly recommend!):

  • Playaway $69.99
  • RBdigital $47.49
  • Amazon CD $25.94

Please let me know in the comments section if your library carries these (I know the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library has some), and how they are working for your patrons.

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