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Sounding Off on Audio: Interviews with Listeners About Their Love of Audiobooks

As we continue to explore the world of audiobooks, we bring you our newest feature, “Sounding Off on Audio,” where we interview listeners about their love of audiobooks. Find out what they listen to, who their favorite narrators are, why they enjoy audiobooks, and much more. Whether you are a seasoned listener of audiobooks or have only a passing curiosity, we hope that you find these interviews to be fun and informative --- and perhaps come across a title or two that you can add to your audiobook listening list. Whenever possible, we will try to provide samples for your listening pleasure as well.

A Conversation with Margaret Gulick

Margaret Gulick is a semi-retired geriatric social worker, currently working part-time in a skilled nursing facility for Franciscan priests and brothers. She doesn’t remember when she started listening but can’t seem to get enough of audiobooks. In her “Sounding Off on Audio” interview, she shares her top titles and an invaluable roundup of her favorite narrators.

A Conversation with Jen Jackson

Jen Jackson has worked for Barnes & Noble for 18 years; she even met her husband there! They have two young daughters who are also avid readers. Her love for audiobooks is infectious --- recently, her 10-year-old daughter started listening as well. Here, Jen shares all the audio wisdom she’s been accumulating since 1996 (when she started listening), including her favorite narrators and why audiobooks are a great way to try out books you’re ambivalent about.  

A Conversation with Melinda Jones

Melinda Jones retired three years ago...and has been enjoying non-stop reading ever since! When she was a child, she used to think she could read every book ever written, and it sounds like she’s well on her way. So far, she has passed along her passion for books to two generations of voracious readers, including a grandson who travels everywhere with a book. Here, she talks about her favorite audiobooks and why sometimes it’s important to give a book you didn’t quite like a second chance.

A Conversation with Beth Settje

Beth Settje lives in Somers, CT, where she’s an associate director at a career center. She has always been a voracious reader and has passed on her love of books --- both print and audio --- to her children. Good readers or not, it’s surprisingly hard to find audiobooks that two teenagers will enjoy, so Beth usually listens solo. Here, she shares with us where she likes to listen and bad narrator habits that are a deal breaker for her.

A Conversation with Mary Ann Blanton

Mary Ann Blanton is a lifelong reader and longtime listener. She also loves traveling, crafting and other lazy pursuits, so being able to multitask with an audiobook is always an added bonus. In her “Sounding Off on Audio” interview, Mary Ann talks about how audio has helped her maximize her book intake, especially because there is no escape if you’re listening in the car. She also shares how audiobooks have come a long way since she started listening, and the one genre she prefers to read.

A Conversation with Bernadette Taylor reader Bernadette Taylor leads a very busy life in Lancaster, PA. Between her job and raising a teenager and preteen, she doesn’t have much time to sit down and read. Luckily, she can listen to audiobooks on the go, and has been doing so for the past 10 years. Here, she shares some of her favorite narrators and titles she has enjoyed listening to.

A Conversation with Marcia Cook

Marcia Cook is currently working as the Program Coordinator for the Wayne Senior Center, where she started a reading group called WOW (Women of Wayne). She loves reading and does it every chance she gets --- preferably with a glass of wine or a cup of tea in her hand. Much easier when her hands are freed up by an audiobook! In her “Sounding Off on Audio” interview, Marcia shares a generous list of her favorite narrators. She also talks about listening in her car and her home --- even while painting a room!

A Conversation with Anne Glasgow

Now that she’s retired, Anne Glasgow has more time for books than ever. She maximizes her reading by listening to audiobooks, so she can get caught up in a great story, even on the go. Here, she talks about where and how she listens, and why it’s important to always keep a well-stocked library on your iPhone and earbuds in your bag.

A Conversation with Mark Freeburg

Mark Freeburg has been a reader all his life. A 28-year veteran of the US Postal Service, he has plenty of time to listen to audiobooks on his delivery route. He only started listening five years ago, but since then, his repertoire has expanded to include all kinds of fiction and nonfiction audio. Check out his “Sounding Off on Audio” interview to see some of his tips and top picks.

A Conversation with Lesley Scher

Lesley Scher, a bookseller for a major brick-and-mortar retailer, is lucky enough to have her dream job. She loves sharing her favorite books with customers, family and friends...and ever since she got hooked on audiobooks, that list has grown! True to form, Lesley shares some pretty stellar books here, guaranteed to amp up your listening. She also describes the strange way time seems to speed up when you’re listening to a good audiobook, and why sometimes it’s better to listen alone.