Why You Should Listen to Audiobooks
Today I’m here to talk about something that has really become even more prevalent in my life since July: audiobooks. I’ve written variations of these, dedications to books-on-tape and why I enjoy them. I’ve even written a few reviews for them.
I go through phases with them. I go through obsessions to where I listen to three in a week (which is a lot for me) and every time I go to bed and every time I’m somewhere that I can pop in my earbuds.
Last month, I got a concussion and I’ve just now been easing back into “real” reading.
I’m not addicted to reading; I’m addicted to stories. I like collecting characters. I like the blur in my head when I start to say something and realize – no, that didn’t happen to me, that happened in a book I read. I like feeling like I’m connected to so many people and places and ideas, living other lives because I’ll only ever get to live my own.
So I needed an outlet to get stories. I couldn’t watch movies or do anything with visual stimulation (my visual tracking was in less than the 2nd percentile) so I turned to audio. I got a library card again and set it all up, enduring my screen sensitivity so I could scroll through and pick out some books.
I’m horribly picky, but I’ve discovered some excellent reasons why I’ll be listening to audiobooks even when I’m perfectly fine with text.
THEY’RE EASY TO GET
Most libraries – including my own – have fantastic online programs.
If you log into your library’s website (if you’re in Hillsborough County, it’s here – and head on over to their eBooks and Online section, if they have something similar. Overdrive Media allows you to check out a book or place holds, and you can either check out eBooks or audiobooks. All you have to do is download the program and you can immediately start listening to your book.
It’s through your library so it’s free of course, and you don’t have to worry about turning them back in because the program does it for you. It gives you a generous lending period of about 21 days and you can always renew them or check them out again. It’s perfect for me because I’m awfully picky about narrator and audiobooks. I don’t know whether I like an audiobook or not until I actually listen to most of it and so I often hesitate to purchase them because they’re pretty pricey.
Even then, there are programs online that do similar things. There’s SYNC, where you get a free YA audio download each week of the summer, paired with a classic on audio, that’s a great way to get popular titles. There are programs like Audiobooks.com and Audible (which I hesitate to mention due to my prejudice against Amazon at the moment).
It’s easier than ever to get audiobooks online. I either use iTunes or my public library and they’re great!
THEY’RE GREAT FOR MOTIVATION
When I was given the all-clear to begin reading, I was also given the all-clear to begin physical activity again. I’m a lacrosse player and it’s an intense sport, so I was dreading the process of getting my body back to its usual, especially since conditioning is coming up. My motivation?
Listen to audiobooks at the gym. Yes, I’m THAT girl. Although I thought it wouldn’t help much, I’ve tried to cut down on listening to them in other places. Then, when I want to listen, I get myself to work out while I’m doing it. (You get so focused on the book that you forget how miserable running is.)
Also, I’m a student so I of course dread homework time. I’d so much rather be blogging! Anyways, listening to an audiobook while I’m doing insufferable busy work (that requires no brainpower) makes it so much better too. Audiobooks are a good way to motivate yourself to do things because you can read AND get things done.
THEY’RE MUCH MORE FUNCTIONAL THAN PAPER OR E-BOOKS
I want to read when I’m on the verge of sleeping; I want to read when I’m in the shower, or doing random things that paper and e-books are simply implausible for doing. When I’m exhausted and physically can’t open my eyes to read, but I can’t stand letting go of the story, there’s nothing I like more than listening to the book I love.
It brings it to life in a way that takes it beyond the words. There’s something thrilling about a book-to-movie adaptation, or hearing a narrator press personalities into words and voices. It makes it much more cinematic. Books that have good stories, but are often rather plain, can be turned into great reads via audio. It’s really wonderful. Especially if I’m rereading books, audio brings it to a different level that makes me appreciate them much more. If you have some books that you put down or were disappointed by, try checking it out on an audiobook.
I’ve definitely been converted into a listener, not only a reader. I’ve always been a music-person but audiobooks were a little out of my comfort zone.
WANT TO START? CHECK OUT THESE TITLES:
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | Goodreads
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black | Goodreads
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver | Goodreads
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson | Goodreads
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | Goodreads
Try books with beautiful writing, suspenseful/scary books, funny ones – those often have the best impact for me on audio! My current listen is Before I Fall.
What do y’all think about audiobooks? Are you listeners or straight readers?