ATG Article of the Week: Richard Charkin: On the Long Walk to Audiobooks

by | Mar 2, 2021 | 0 comments

In this featured article in Publishing Perspectives, Richard Charkin admits to his obsessive-compulsive practice of walking some 12 miles a day. He then notes that as a result of his daily excursions, listening has become “my new obsession.” Not surprisingly, this leads to a further insight: “the importance of audio and audiobooks.”

‘I Started by Listening to Music’

I suffer from a pre-COVID-19 form of mild obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. Actually, it’s even more acute during  the pandemic.  It’s called walking. I walk roughly 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) every day.

I walk for health, physical and mental. But 20 kilometers a day, which takes approximately four hours, can be boring, particularly when one is obliged not to venture too far from home because of lockdown restrictions. To counter the ennui I purchased at some expensive earbuds.

I started by listening to music, and I still do. Before this writing, I listened to some Anne Sylvestre, the first act of the Met’s classic production of The Barber of Seville, and some nostalgic Phil Spector numbers triggered by his obituaries. But I also listen to words. BBC Radio serves up an extraordinarily rich menu of current and classic spoken-word programs : an ancient Hercule Poirot; John le Carré’s A Perfect Spy; some PG Wodehouse; and, of course,  and, of course Test Match Special [a British sports radio program focused on professional cricket]. I try to mix the familiar with the new, or at least new to me.

Listening has become my new obsession and it has made me realize the importance of audio and audiobooks…”


Richard then goes on to offer a variety of valuable observations regarding publishing and the audiobooks market.

But of course, to learn more you’ll need to click on this link to the full article in Publishers Perspective.

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