Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
I’ve been a fan of audiobooks since the days when a book was a big bulky set of a dozen or so cassette tapes that I listened to in my car on my long Los Angeles commute. Today, I think they’re a necessity for anyone who wants to read a great many books but has a busy life. If you haven’t embraced audiobooks yet, I highly recommend you give them a try! Here’s why:
1. Listening to audiobooks can easily increase your overall book consumption by 50% to 100% because you’re using time that previously wasn’t available and turning it into valuable “reading” time.
2. You can listen in your car; while exercising; while walking or hiking; or while doing mundane tasks around the house or yard. I often listen to a book while folding laundry or doing dishes, or on longer car trips.
3. Audiobooks can be listened to on a variety of devices. They’re convenient.
4. There are now multiple audiobook apps available for iPhone and Android, and various ways to buy audiobooks. You can even check them out from the library. (Search the web for rankings and reviews of various apps.) Personally I find membership in Audible.com to be a great deal.
5. Even if you don’t do well with audio processing of book content, you can try various kinds of books to see if some work better than others. Some people don’t like to listen to fiction in audio because they can’t get immersed in the story, but find they can engage just fine with non-fiction. It’s worth experimenting.
But what if you’re uncomfortable with audiobooks and just can’t get into them?
Here are some ideas:
- Start with a book you’ve already read and loved. This can help you get comfortable with the audio experience. You might also want to start with books that aren’t too complicated, books for the purpose of pure enjoyment.
- Look for books narrated by a well-known actor. This can significantly enhance the experience! A favorite of mine is The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, narrated by Colin Firth. I also enjoy memoirs narrated by the author, such as Tina Fey’s Bossypants. (Google “best audiobook narration” for some ideas.)
- Experiment with the speed of the playback. For most books, I can’t stand them on regular speed and usually listen on 1.25. Some people listen even faster. This definitely keeps you from tuning out!
- It’s usually best to listen while you’re engaged in physical tasks like folding laundry or taking a walk. I find my mind wanders if I’m just sitting there (and if I’m sitting, I’d rather be reading).
- Occasionally you’ll come across an audiobook with terrible narration. It happens, and it can ruin the book for you. Don’t be afraid to give up on those. (You can usually listen to a sample before purchasing the audiobook.)
- Make use of the bookmarking tool in your audiobook app to save quotes you want to remember, or save your place if you want to go back and listen to another part of the book.
Have you tried audiobooks yet? What’s your experience?