Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why Audiobooks Aren't as Bad as You Think

I can distinctly remember going to the community pool with my aunt and my two younger cousins. I must have been in my early teens and we were talking about books since I've been a book worm my whole life. Back then e-readers weren't even a thought and I had so much time, all I did was read. While we talked about books, my aunt mentioned how she had started to listen to audiobooks since she was so busy. I will admit I scoffed at the idea of listening to a book. Why listen to it when you can just sit and read?

Needless to say I grew up, I took on more responsibility, I was busier, and I started to drive. I had plenty of time to read books until I started college, and thats when I almost stopped reading for leisure. Then, the summer after my freshman year, I got my first audiobook. Since then I've been listening to them on long car rides and while I drive and work out.

There are five reasons why I think audiobooks are good for people that are too busy to sit down and take the time to read. See if any of these fit your needs, then maybe you should consider using audiobooks.

1. They're great for long car rides.
When you're listening to music every so often you get a song you don't want to listen to, and so you pick up your iPod and change the song. Recently, there has been a flood of new laws called the "Distracted Driving Law" which states use of a handheld device is illegal. While most people assume that this only pertains to cellphones, it could potentially spread to iPods as well. With an audiobook all you need to do is hit play and listen.

2. They're great for multitasking.
If you need to do anything else, but all you really want to do is read, you can listen to it instead. Making dinner, cleaning the house, painting, working out, or doing anything else while your hands are otherwise pre-occupied. This way, you get to finish a book all while doing things you may have done in silence.

3. You can put them on your iPod.
No need to only listen to them in the car when you can put them on your iPod. By being able to transfer them over to easily, you're able to do so much more with your audiobooks. I have two different iPods, a new one that I use for music and an older one that I listen to my audiobooks on, that way I can have my music when I want it without having to hear random bits of my audiobook in the middle of it.

4. You can get them from the library.
One big downside to audiobooks is that they can be very expensive, sometimes ranging from $30-$50 to listen to a book that could have otherwise cost you far less. However, just as the library is a great source for regular books, the library is also great for audiobooks as well. Not only that but through my library, Ramapo Catskill Library System, I can get them right offline without having to go into the library to take them out. These books can also be really cheap through websites like half.com and amazon where they are selling used and sometimes brand new copies for as low as .75 cents.

5. You can revisit a book through audio and have it brought to life.
Just before the last Harry Potter movie was released, I wanted to re-read it so that all the details of what happened in that book would be fresh in my mind as I watched the movie. As we all know, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is not a book you pick up for light reading so instead I got the audiobook from my library and I listened to it. Not only did I get to revisit a favorite, while getting to read other books at the same time, I was able to have the story come to life through the narration of Jim Dale, who is a great reader.

Audiobooks can be great even if you're just listening to them occasionally. If you have found yourself in a reading slump and need to find a way to bring the joy of books back into your life, audiobooks might be the way to go. Even if you listen to one book a month, you may find thats more than you've been able to read in a long time.


  1. If you read the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher...I highly recommend his audiobooks narrated by James Marsters (aka Spike from Angel and Buffy). His voice is amazing for the main character.

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