June is Audiobook Month and it’s about time I write this post. Audiobooks have become a huge part of my blog. Even though I don’t have as much time as I used to to listen to them, I still love them and try to listen whenever I can. If you’ve thought about listening to an audiobook, but never gotten around to picking one up or if you’ve always thought you wouldn’t like it, I want to tell you why I think audiobooks are awesome and you should try them.
I’ve been listening to audiobooks since I was a kid. Before I could read, my mother bought me those Disney books with the cassette tapes that would read the story to you. I would listen to them so much that I had them memorized. I remember particularly loving The Lady and the Tramp. I loved dogs a lot when I was little. My point is that I have a long relationship with audiobooks. The ones that really won me over were Harry Potter books read by Jim Dale. I spent a summer listening to them all straight through.
1. Performance – I love the drama. When I’m listening to a well-produced audiobook read by a great actor it enhances the experience of the book. I’m convinced that I’ve enjoyed some audiobooks much more than I would have if I had read them in print. Here are some examples: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series, Dreamfever and Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Now, let me stress that those books are all good on their own. I would have enjoyed them had I read them in print, but the performances were so great that I think the experience was enhanced by the narration. Just give a few of them a listen at www.audible.com [photo credit: ESwift]
2. Convenience – Sometimes it’s just more convenient to listen to an audiobook. Am I going to take the time to read the huge Steve Jobs book? Probably not. But I did take the time to listen to the audiobook while I commuted to and from work. I actually do this with almost every non-fiction book I read. When I try to read them in print, I get bored. I have trouble trudging through the details. When it’s read to me I can listen. The narrator makes it more interesting, even those details I was having trouble with.
I don’t have to sit down and take time to listen to an audiobook. I can do it while I’m doing other things like driving, cleaning, blogging, and working. I used to listen to tons of audiobooks a month because I was never on the phone at work. I would come to work and plug in my headphones. It actually helped me work faster because I wasn’t worrying about what time it was or being annoyed by the person next to me talking on the phone too loud. I could tune out all the office sounds and listen to a story while I worked. I now work at the reception desk and can’t listen to audiobooks while I’m here, but if you aren’t on the phone much or don’t have to concentrate too hard on your work, you should try listening to an audiobook.
Now I fit in audio whenever I can. I listen to it in the mornings while I’m getting ready, while I’m driving, when I’m cleaning up my room or organizing. Every now and then I just lie in bed and listen to audiobooks, but that’s usually when I’m so wrapped up I can’t stop. What I’m saying is if you always feel like you never have time to read, you can try multitasking.
Aren’t audiobooks expensive?
They aren’t as expensive as they used to be. If you go to Barnes & Noble and buy yourself a book on CD, yes, it will probably be around $30 or $40. You don’t have to do that though! Audible is a great place to go for cheaper prices and if you don’t have an iPod or MP3 player to load them on, there are Audible apps. I usually play all my audiobooks on my phone. That way, it’s always with me. If I ever find myself in a situation where I can listen, I just pull out my phone. Many publishers also publish digital audiobooks that you can purchase straight from their website, and those are much cheaper than the CDs. The cheapest way to go is to check them out the library. If you have a decent library system, they probably have audiobooks. That’s where I’ve gotten many of the audiobooks I’ve reviewed. My library even has a downloadable account so I can check out digital audiobooks. It’s been well worth the money I paid for my library card.
I’ll be writing a little on reviewing audiobooks next week so come back!
If you have any questions or want to continue the discussion, please leave a comment. I’ll reply!