While reorganizing our schoolroom the other day, I was reminded of a neat idea I had years ago to keep the littles quiet during school. They loved to sit and listen to books on tape, but we didn't have many, they were expensive, and I was uneasy about borrowing them from the library. (Too much responsibility!)
I set out to do a search for blank audio cassettes. I wanted shorter than 30 minutes a side so they wouldn't have to fast forward too much at the end of a book. I determined that ten minutes or less was ideal. This depends on how long the books are you plan on putting on tape. I found some for eight minutes, I think, and bought them in bulk. I don't remember where I bought them, but this website is an example of what I found. (I didn't search around for the best price so you may want to do that.)
I chose which books we wanted on tape and read them to the children as I recorded them. It is fun to listen back to them. You never know what the littles are going to say. ;-)
Make sure you remember to say "turn the page" or whatever you want to use to signify the turning of the page! This is easy to forget. Part way through a book, I would describe a page to make sure they were on the right page. I would say "do you see the lion in the picture" or whatever was appropriate. You get the idea.
I also then labeled ziploc bags to keep them in. One hint might be to choose books that fit in the bags you are going to use. I did not do this and had to modify bags, well, didn't have to, it was my neurotic side coming out. I wanted them to fit perfectly like the ones at the library. I actually sewed all the ziploc bags to fit the books. ;-)
By using books you already have and buying tapes for under a quarter a piece, you have some pretty inexpensive and wholesome entertainment!
You will find other great tips at We Are That Family