Anyone interested in the history of audiobooks can get a sneak preview of my forthcoming book here: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674545441.
Here’s a brief excerpt from HUP’s website:
“Histories of the book often move straight from the codex to the digital screen. Left out of that familiar account is nearly 150 years of audio recordings. Recounting the fascinating history of audio-recorded literature, Matthew Rubery traces the path of innovation from Edison’s recitation of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ for his tinfoil phonograph in 1877, to the first novel-length talking books made for blinded World War I veterans, to today’s billion-dollar audiobook industry.”
Visit the website for a longer description, blurbs, etc. The book should be available sometime in November.