Did You Know You Can Find Printed Versions of Audiobooks?

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I’ve been a fan of audiobooks since the late ’90s when my mom would slide a cassette of a classic like Puppies in the Pantry into the tape player of her aging SUV and take us to elementary school. Of course, audiobooks have changed a lot since then. They’re rarely physical tapes, for one thing — I get most of my audiobooks from my local library with just a few simple taps on my phone, using the Libby app. Even music streaming services like Spotify are jumping on the bandwagon to offer audiobooks to their subscribers. It seems audiobooks are more widely available and easier to access than ever before. But have you ever wished you could have a transcript of an audiobook? 

I found myself asking that exact question while listening to Kalynn Bayron’s You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight during a marathon packing session over at Tailored Book Recommendations. Between a screechy tape gun and the crinkliest packing paper known to humankind, I kept having to repeat portions of the audiobook so I wouldn’t miss any of the action. It got me thinking — there must be a way to find a transcript so I can follow along with the audiobook narrator.

So I did what anyone would do, and asked the Internet. And I may have just unlocked the best-kept secret in the book world. Chances are, your favorite audiobooks are also available in a printed, bound format that’s just called — get this — a book. And the good news is that books are available everywhere. There are even entire stores and websites dedicated to selling them! Books aren’t just utilitarian stacks of paper, either. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials, from hardcovers with artfully designed jackets, all the way to mass-market paperbacks with the type made tiny to fit the smaller pages. 

After my discovery, I wasted no time in starting my own collection of books by heading to my local used bookstore — I could write a whole other post about how printed books smell incredible — and ordering even more books online. I love looking at them, even if they take up a lot more space than audiobooks. Now my only question is, are there shelves of some sort that I can use to hold all these books?

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