PlayAway is a self-playing digital book. All that is needed to listen to this book is one AAA battery, a set of headphones and your ears.

The Playaway is both the audiobook and the player. A book is preloaded on the device, which is the size of a deck of cards.

Buyers plug in headphones and can immediately begin listening. Among
other features, they can speed up the pace of the narrator or bookmark
their place in the recitation.

“We thought it was an innovative application of emerging
technology,” said Mike Spinozzi, Borders’ executive vice president and
chief marketing officer.

Each Playaway book will cost between $35 and $55, similar to CD audiobooks but twice as much as many downloadable audiobooks.

“The way we see it, storytelling used to be simple. Someone spoke. Someone listened.

Then somewhere along the line, technology actually made it mot
complicated. Cumbersome collections of cassettes, CDs and internet
downloads with competing digital formats were all thrust between the
storyteller and listener. And for awhile, it seemed as if listening
would forever remain difficult.

Then one day, a group of relentless innovators decided to make
listening simple again by building an audio book that would actually
play itself. It would come with a story already on it. A battery to
make it play. And earphones for people to listen.”