Audio Books are Turning New Leaf in Publishing

The Chicago Tribune has this article on the flourishing of audio books.
\"...audio books, like electronic books, are redefining cultural attitudes toward reading. They are even becoming the first medium for some titles, whether because they\'re controversial or aimed at a special audience more likely to \"read\" a book in that form than curled up in an armchair with a bound title.\"

\"In fact, a recent survey indicates that one-fifth of American households listen to audio books, an increase of 75 percent since 1995.\"
\"The audio publishers have plenty to celebrate. Unlike most of the book industry, which has suffered nearly flat sales in the past few years, the $2.5 billion audio book business has enjoyed a sales growth approximately five times that of its partners in print.\"

\"Once thought of primarily as a tool for the visually impaired or illiterate, audio books are increasingly reaching a cross-section of the population. In fact, some unexpected demographics among the readers of audio books are emerging. Industry figures indicate that men ages 21-34, sometimes stereotyped as spending leisure time locked in sports bars or glued to televisions, log more hours listening to audio books than almost any other group.\"

\"I was frustrated with myself for not having time to read,\" said Hartman, a sales representative for an international shipping company. \"Since college I felt like I was getting soft in the head.\"

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