These are Playaways.
Playaways are entire books in one little recorded package. They are great if you are a) a fan of audiobooks and b) don’t want to carry around bulky CDs.
I recently took a Playaway with me on a weekend trip. It didn’t take up much real estate in my bag and didn’t require any special charging apparatus except a AAA battery. Supply your own headphones or earbuds and listen away!
What’s not to love? The most common complaint is they stop functioning even with a new battery. We always check out the problem (if it is made known to us) and either replace the Playaway or get a refund from the publisher. Quirky Aspect Alert: Energizer batteries work better than other brands. This was not from an Energizer rep. I also think that once the battery starts to go, you will not get good results. So keeping a new battery nearby might be a good idea.
Playaways are popular across all age groups with about 3/4 of the Adult Playaway collection checked out at any given time. Most Playaways can be found at the beginning of the Audiobook collection, but there are some which are interfiled with books of the same topic, e.g., language learning. If you’d like a demonstration on how to use a Playaway, please ask any staff person at the Information Services or Readers Services desks.