Best audiobooks: Sunset for cassettes
The New York Times carried an obituary last week for the cassette tape, a staple for audiobook fans since the late 1970s and the introduction of the Sony Walkman.
The best thing about books recorded on cassette tapes - as opposed to CDs - is that you can easily rewind just a sentence or two if you missed something instead of jumping back a whole track, which might translate into an entire chapter. You also can pop the tape out of the dash in your car and pop it into a cassette player in your house without missing a word - or having to remember your track number.
And there's nothing like the Walkman for listening to a book while gardening, walking or doing housework. That's possible with portable CD players, too, but they skip if jostled too much.
Are you still a cassette holdout, or have you switched entirely to CDs?
Some publishers are still recording books on cassette tapes and some libraries are still buying them. That's because there is still an audience for books on tape. As the Times points out, the average age of the automobile in this country is nine years, and most of those cars still have cassette decks. But only 4 percent of the new cars sold in 2007 had them.
As the Times story notes, the cassette tape died years ago as a vehicle for sharing music, but it lived on among audiobook fans.
RIP old friend!