Review of Playaway Audiobooks


A new choice for audiobooks

A few weeks ago, the little ones and I were at the library and Ari picked up what looked like a videocassette box. I looked at the front and it had the title and cover of a book and said “Playaway” on it. Curious, I turned it over and it said “Playaway is the simplest way to listen to an audiobook on the go. Each Playaway comes pre-loaded with an audiobook, and batteries are included. Simply plug in earphones and enjoy. No cassettes or CD’s. No downloads. There’s nothing left to do but listen.”

Curious, Ari checked it out and we took it home. After we found a battery (our library doesn’t provide them, probably because they never get them back), we plugged in her earbuds and she started listening. She loved it. She said that it was way better than CDs or tapes because you never had to switch sides or change CDs. After that glowing recommendation, I thought I’d better try them myself. As an avid reader, I didn’t think I needed a new form of entertainment, but I found I love these! After everyone else is asleep in the house, I can listen to a book without disturbing anyone.

Libraries are already a “green” alternative to buying books – less paper is used and it is more economical for the reader. I believe that Playaways are even better for the environment than checking out books, tapes or CDs. I’m not sure of the longevity of a single Playaway, but short of lost copies of the audiobook, I believe they may last longer than the other three. Nothing will replace holding a book in your hand while you read, but Playaways are a wonderful option in many instances.


  • Easy to use
  • Requires nothing more than headphones and batteries to operate
  • No worries about scratching CDs or breaking tapes
  • More environmentally-friendly than books, tapes, or CDs


  • It is difficult to find a prior section in a book
  • 2 year olds (and others, I’m sure) can easily push buttons while you are listening and lose your place.