An audiobook is a recording of a text being read. A reading of the complete text is noted as "unabridged", while readings of a reduced version, orabridgement of the text are labeled as "abridged".
Spoken audio has been available in schools and public libraries and to a lesser extent in music shops since the 1930s. Many spoken word albumswere made prior to the age of videocassettes, DVDs, compact discs, and downloadable audio, however often of poetry and plays rather than books. It was not until the 1980s that the medium began to attract book retailers, and then book retailers started displaying audiobooks on bookshelves rather than in separate displays.