Since we are all grappling with the changes that prescribed social distancing is bringing to life at the moment, I thought it might be a good time to share some ideas for ways to keep reading and listening without all the money going to one monopoly of a company, even if you can’t leave your house.

Have you seen a bookmark like this on the counter of your local bookstore? If you have, that means they are a partner store with

I’ve been a fan of audiobook distributor since I first learned about the company. In fact when I did, I emailed the man who started the company and said, “You stole my idea!” Now, Mark Pearson couldn’t have stolen my idea since it only existed in my head, but years ago I did think it’d be a great idea for someone to figure out how independent bookstores could sell audiobooks. My local bookseller had explained that it just wasn’t cost effective for them to stock audiobook CDs. Even Barnes and Noble tends to stock only a small display of audiobooks. Meanwhile, Mark Pearson founded

Here’s how it works:

When you sign up for your account, you get to choose your partner bookstore and every time you purchase an audiobook, that store gets a percentage of the profit. If you don’t choose a specific store, that percentage goes into a pot that benefits all member bookstores. In this way, even if you don’t leave your house, you can support your local economy.

“But,” you might say, “I have a subscription and I download a book or two a month from a different company.” Here’s the thing. You may or may not know this, but the company you’re mostly likely talking about is owned by a much larger company. A company that not only owns online retail but actively squeezes profits from publishers and authors by using books as loss leaders. If you’ve studied any economics, you’ll know that it’s not healthy for most markets if one company holds a monopoly. So if we want authors to be able to afford to write and publishers to publish, we need to push back against the monopoly.

One way to do that is to buy elsewhere. Here’s the awesome thing. You can get the same exact subscription at with almost** the same selection of books. I’m such a fan, I talked Mark into letting me share an incentive. If you try out with the code KARENWHITE, you get THREE BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE.

You won’t lose the books you’ve purchased from other companies. You’ll just listen to your new books on the app, available for Apple or Android devices.

Since you (and your family) might have some extra time on your hands, I hope you’ll try it out. Download some audiobooks, pull out a puzzle and have some nice quiet family time while you listen.

Here are some recommendations for books (many of these are the first book in a series) that my whole family loved listening to:

For younger kids:

For older kids:

Take care, everybody!

**the almost is because some authors choose to only distribute their books via one company. But the vast majority of publishers and many self-publishing authors are now distributing across multiple channels. With 150,000 audiobooks in stock, you’re likely to find your favorites. Also, I’ll earn a small bonus with every new member who signs up so thanks in advance for trying out

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