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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • TROY'S COLUMN — Don’t have time to read a book?

  • About a month ago, I met with a representative from Findaway World at the Redwood Falls Public Library to talk about some new technology being offered through the local amenity.
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  • About a month ago, I met with a representative from Findaway World at the Redwood Falls Public Library to talk about some new technology being offered through the local amenity.
    Standing in the main area of the library, Jeff Pelant gave me the spiel about this gadget known as a Playaway.
    To be honest I was a bit skeptical. After all, this old school reader enjoys holding on to the book he is reading, and the last thing he wants is to utilize something that takes away the joy of hard copy reading.
    A Playaway is a small device, about the size of a cell phone, and on that device an entire book has been recorded. With a AAA battery installed and a set of head phones one can listen to that entire book, just like they were listening to music on their MP3 player or iPod.
    That’s right, the entire book.
    Unlike books on tape or CD, which require you to switch out those tapes or CDs regulary there is no need to do that. In this one device one can listen to everything written by the greats of classical literature to more modern day genres.
    While I was at first hesitant, I acquiesced about three weeks ago and checked out one of the Playaways which was available at the local library.
    They come in an orange case, and you can check them out just like any other book for a period of three weeks. If you don’t have your own ear buds or headphones you are able to purchase them from the library for $1.
    My first selection had already been checked out, and so I opted for a classic piece of literature – Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe.” I had already read this book before, but it had been a long time since that reading.
    I figured I could try it out with a book I had already enjoyed and perhaps pick up a few of the nuances I may have missed in my hard copy reading.
    So, when I was out weeding my garden or doing some other activity that did not require a lot of brain function I listened. What is nice about the Playaway is it has some form of internal memory function that allows it to continue the book right where you left off. That’s nice, because the reading took 12 hours. I just did not have that kind of time all at once.
    I honestly can say I enjoyed the Playaway and am looking forward to checking another one out in the future.
    The local library has several titles, with books representing a mix of reading genres on hand, and they also have a few devices known as The View, which are a small viewing device that allows for videos to be watched. These are being geared toward the kids, and so I likely won’t give them a try any time soon.
    Page 2 of 2 - I had a chance to talk with Robin Osland and Jill Deinken about the new devices, and both said they have been very popular with patrons.
    I have no intention of giving up my hard copy book reading, but I will admit it is hard to read “War and Peace” while pulling weeds.
    I want to encourage you to stop by the library and learn more about the Playaway technology.
    It’s a nice product, and I think you would enjoy them.
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