Audio Slaves

Archie'S Audiobooks

Steven Robert Allen
3 min read
Share ::
Nothing makes a long car ride go by faster than reading a book out loud. For best results, I advise having at least two people in the car—one to drive, the other to read. (It's safer that way.)

My wife and I have zipped through a lot of novels on long road trips. Since my wife gets sick if she reads in the car, I do all the reading. We usually pick light fare—the Harry Potter books, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, etc.—the kind of thing that's easy to read even while bumping along the crappiest New Mexico backroad.

I have to say, though, that depending on the length of the trip, my throat can start to get really sore after all that reading. That's why we occasionally opt for audiobooks. Most recently we've tried some of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories as well as Tales from 1,001 Nights. I love reading out loud, because I'm in love with the melodious sound of my own voice, but sometimes it's nice to just kick back and listen to someone else tell me a story.

If you're looking for a unique gift for your truck-driving friend, or maybe a family member who's an attorney, doctor, book reviewer or who works in some similar profession that requires enormous amounts of reading, consider getting them a gift certificate to Archie's Audiobooks.

Depending on its length, a new audiobook typically costs around $60 to $70. That's why Archie's specializes in rentals. With over 10,000 titles, Archie's has plenty to choose from. Actually, according to owner Nicholas Bolanos, it's one of the largest audiobook stores in the country. It's so big, Stephen King is one of Archie's devoted mail order customers.

Here's how it works. Archie's charges $1.50 per cassette or CD. (Most audiobooks contain multiple cassettes or CDs.) If you prepay $50 up front, then the price drops to a dollar per cassette or CD. Eighty percent of Archie's clients choose this option. You get to keep your rental for 40 days, long enough for even the slowest listeners to make it through David Copperfield.

“We get new audiobooks regularly,” says Bolanos, “anywhere from 50 to 150 new titles per month.”

Archie's most popular section is probably mystery, but they also offer an enormous selection of titles in every other imaginable category as well, from children's literature to classics to nonfiction. For the most popular titles, you'll probably want to make reservations. Thirty people, for example, are on the waiting list for David Baldacci's new novel, Split Second.

“The quality of audiobooks is better than ever,” Bolanos says. “Many audiobook publishers use wellknown actors and actresses to read the stories. Some titles, like one version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, actually incorporate full theatrical productions.”

Stuff a stocking with a gift certificate to Archie's. The store offers them in any desired denomination.

Archie's Audiobooks is located at 5505 Osuna NE. 888-1735.

1 2 3 234