Library on the road has closed

Ann Arbor Library - Pittsfield Branch
Image by jhoweaa via Flickr

I didn’t have time to stop at the public library before setting off on a journey to Missouri, 550 miles away. “That’s okay,” I thought, “I’ll take my truck-drivers’ library card and pick up some books-on-CD along the way.”  I’ve been a lifetime member of AudioAdventures since 1999, when I made monthly trips from Duluth to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Back then, I knew all the truck stops that stocked the books.

I loved the format: check the book out in one location, turn it in at any of the others. It wasn’t free – but after I accumulated points, the membership was free, and the books were up-to-date. I was introduced to Brother Cadfael, Jim Qwilleran, and a host of other characters through the collection, and read a lot of nonfiction that I would otherwise have passed by.

When I didn’t find an AudioAdventures outlet in the first two truckstops, I was puzzled; I did an online search. Sad news: they went out of business, referring me instead to a recorded books service that delivers to my door.  No more finding a new author or a new book in some out-of-the-way corner of the country.

The website says they closed after 20 years of service; I was there for 11 of them.  I am sad every time I see a genuine browsing opportunity – the chance to come across a book simply because it’s in a rack or next to something else – disappear.  I would never have gone in search of detective stories featuring a Native American law officer from the Four Corners region – but I was certainly glad to find Sgt. Jim Chee and Lieutenant Leaphorn and the rest of Tony Hillerman’s characters.

A belated farewell, AudioAdventures – and a reminder to myself to cherish and support those remaining browsing locations where they exist.

Enhanced by Zemanta

About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota, serving in vocation and oblate ministry. Also a social scientist, reader, lover of nature and travel, and dabbler in many things. +UIOGD
This entry was posted in Book Review, Technology, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Library on the road has closed

  1. Mariterese Woida, OSB says:

    At one time I heard Cracker Barrel had a similar service, though I never used it myself.

  2. Colleen walsh says:

    While I did not always use the on rode library system, I have enjoyed listening to them when I found them. Personally I have gone high tech and use my mp3 player to listen to books. The system I use the most is the local library link to Overdrive media. I have found both new authors and old classics. One advantage to the MP3 is the lack of a need to switch CDs while driving/ having to pull over to do so safely.

  3. What a wonderful idea. I’ve been downloading books from audible.com for those long rides, but I’ve heard that our public library can get practically anything for you — if you know what you want. Unfortunately, that eliminates the browsing.

    • Sister Edith says:

      Here in Duluth, the Public Library has a lot of books on tape (cassette) and books on CD – and they are in open stacks, so I can browse. The AudioAdventures selection was a bit different – they knew people would be driving and listening, so even their non-fiction offerings were lively.

Comments are welcome and moderated

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s