An audiobook is a recording of a text being read. It is not necessarily an exact audio version of a book or magazine.
Spoken audio has been available in schools and public libraries and to a lesser extent in music shops since the 1930s. Many spoken word albums were made prior to the age of videocassettes, DVDs, compact discs, and downloadable audio, however often of 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.