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Car Travel Magic: Audio Books

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The rich, the poor, the patient, the peeved -- all parents do car trips with the kids, at some point in life.

Typically we cram the family vehicle full of snacks, toys, books, and electronics... And don't forget to bring along: stories on audio.

Kids can listen individually, with headphones; or -- depending on the content and/or your level of tolerance -- everyone can listen to the story on the car stereo. I fondly remember the first car trip when our youngest (then six) was old enough to follow a big-kid story line.

Where to get your audio-books? Your local library's a great source.

But how about... Cracker Barrel Country Stores?

Cracker Barrel "Books on Audio"
This folksy company has over 400 locations in 38 states, serving real-food in its restaurants (like chicken 'n' dumplin's), and selling country-style items like rocking chairs. Cracker Barrel also has a creative deal on audiobooks: basically, you end up "renting" them, while you do you road trip stopping at Cracker Barrel stores.

    "Buy a Books-On-Audio CD at any Cracker Barrel location (prices range from $9.99 to $48.00). Enjoy listening, and then simply return the book at the next Cracker Barrel you visit. We'll refund the purchase price, minus $3.49 for each week you've had it."

    -- Cracker Barrel Books on Audio

Ride With Me
Another interesting approach is Ride With Me: CD's describe the country passing by outside your windows. The audios are cued to milepost markers, exits, and landmarks on highways, so you hear stories of the area you're driving through it.

Downloads
Another way to get audiobooks is to download them a site such as Audible: download to a " device such as an iPod, or download to your computer and burn a CD. Meanwhile, at Simply Audiobooks you can either download, or rent an actual CD (similar to Netflix.)

Of course, it's easy to play DVD's in the car as well. But with audio,kids aren't glued to yet-another screen; they can actually watch the landscape, and use their mind's eye to picture the story; and everyone shares the story experience together.

* check web sites for latest prices

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