I’ll be honest, this week I am incredibly busy (college, sigh)! Today I want to talk about something that has helped ease the pressure of my busy week, audiobooks! Again, I have to be honest, I had never listened to an audiobook before, and I was certain that I didn’t like them. The idea of someone else’s voice delivering a story instead of my own was daunting. I thought it would taint the experience in some way. Reading books, as I’m sure all of you know, is a very personal experience. For some reason, I felt that having someone narrate the story for me would be intrusive. Oh, how misguided I was! Listening to an audiobook, although it’s a very different experience from reading the book on your own, was equally enjoyable.
So, perhaps I should explain exactly what led to this venture to the outskirts of my comfort zone. Here’s what happened: it’s midterm season, my birthday is this weekend, I procrastinated reading a book for class because I wanted to write instead (no regrets), I now have a paper to write on said book, and to top it all off, my room needed some organizing before I could focus on any of it. Sound familiar? I suspect that many of you have felt this before, whether you’re a dedicated student, employee, or parent, there never seems to be enough time in the day, which leads me to number one on my list of reasons for listening to audiobooks.
Audiobooks are great for multitasking.
Reading a book requires your absolute full attention, however with audiobooks, this is not the case. Think about all the things you do while you listen to music or chat with friends. This time can be spent on audiobooks as well. Doing house chores or driving to work are perfect times to turn on an audiobook. Next time you’re doing these things and you reach for the radio dial (does anyone else besides me still listen to radio?) pick up an audiobook instead.
If you have a TBR pile that looks more like a mountain than a stack of books, audiobooks can help.
All of us who love to read know that there is not enough time in the world to read all of the amazing books out there, and even though audiobooks can’t solve that problem, they can, at least, put a dent in the infinite number of books that are begging to be read.
Listening to audiobooks engage different parts of your brain than reading.
For those of you who are more auditory than visual, audiobooks are a great way to access stories. They allow you to retain ownership as a reader but still assist with the laborious nature of the reading from the page. Even for those of you who are not auditory learners (myself included) the experience of listening to a story rather than reading it is unique. Characters take on a new life when they have a voice assigned to them, but that life is not independent of the mental image you’ve created in your mind. I even read a blog post on PsychCentral that suggests audiobooks are superior to reading when it comes to brain involvement. It’s definitely an interesting piece, and I encourage you to take a look!
So, want to give it a try? I’ve got a few ways for you to give audiobooks a shot without having to spend a penny!
Audible has thousands and thousands of audiobooks available, and they will give you a month free, which equates to a free audiobook. This is how I tried audiobooks and I can attest to the quality and ease of their app. However, I did make sure to mark my calendar so that I cancel it before it charges me automatically for the next month, because ya know, broke college kid right here. But, if you find that you like it, audible charges a monthly fee depending on how many books you want to read, and you can cancel your membership at any time.
Audiosync is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. Starting May 5th all the way through August 17th, SYNC will give away two downloads per week!
There are plenty of free readings on LibriVox of books that are in the public domain (works published in 1922 and earlier), so if you like the classics you should look there. All of them are done by volunteers, so if you think that’s something you’d be interested in, why not reach out to them? Despite having all of their recordings done by volunteers, they have high-quality audio done by voices that are easy to understand and interesting to listen to.
I hope that those of you who have previously written off audiobooks (no pun intended) decide to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised, and I bet you will be too!