Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Listening Station is "Ripped!"

Can you believe I still have most of my books on tape from my own childhood? Our kids love having a box full of books on tape to sit and "read" all by themselves. Granted, some are quite dated (remember the "Wuzzles"...or how about the "Little People" series by Fisher Price?), while others are classic. Goldilocks, the Wild Things, the Gingerbread Boy, and Little Red are all in the box.

Finding a cd player with a tape deck wasn't easy, but we have a good one that will hopefully last a long time. I've instructed the kids on how to use it properly, so they can listen to their books independently (KID 2 struggles with getting the tapes into the deck, but she's getting better).

We've been slowly adding to our listening library as the kids' birthdays roll around, and sometimes new books come with a "bonus" CD recording. Our large board book copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar came with a CD recording of the book read by Eric Carle himself. That one is pretty cool! Gwyneth Paltrow did the recording of Brown Bear, Brown Bear; and James Earl Jones recorded the most recent addition to our library, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.

But with the advent of the CD, books on tape are not as easy to find. Most are on CD, which is great for listening in the car, but when you let your kids handle their own audio books, CD's get damaged VERY easily. So, I don't know how legal it is, but I've just finished ripping our entire CD audio book collection onto the computer. This way we can burn a new copy if (WHEN) their CDs get scratched and won't play anymore. I feel much better about letting them handle their own books on CD now that we have a way to replace them without having to repurchase the recordings.

The listening library in no way replaces our reading time together, but in a house with no TV, it's nice to have things they can fill their time with independently and still have the benefit of reading!


  1. It's legal to make a digital copy of something you own, whether it's music or a book.

  2. Thanks, Liz. I thought it was okay. I looked into it a while back before copying our kids' music CDs. That was a birthday gift for KID 1 a few years back - the CD/Tape player and a whole CD case of his music (copies) to play on his own. He loved it. Still does!


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