for the past few months (year??), audiobooks have changed my reading game. it’s insane because i feel like i’m reading less (which is true; i haven’t finished a physical book in forever), but i’m technically still reading because i’ve been listening to audiobooks. (for once, i’m not behind on my goodreads challenge and i haven’t picked up a “real book” in so so long!!) (ok jk maybe i’m still behind but it’s MUCH BETTER) for me, there was a really big learning curve when getting into audiobooks. where do i listen to them? when do i have time to? don’t you fall asleep? why should i listen vs reading? and the worst: does it count as reading? all these burning questions!! answered here.
why should i listen to audiobooks?
i want to say everyone should listen to audiobook, but that really is not the case. some people ultimately prefer physical or ebooks to audiobooks and i get that. but if you’re someone who is 1) very busy or 2) has a hard time finishing books, i think audiobooks will be your jam. audiobooks have also helped me branch out into different genres. normally, i’d be hesitant on reading from certain genres or not feel the urge to continue. in a way, audiobooks force you to finish it.
where can i access audiobooks?
OKAY SO. when i initially started listening to audiobooks, i was very confused because they’re much more expensive than physical books and therefore, felt less accessible. BUT. there are actually a lot of resources!!
the library, libby, or overdrive
libby has been a GAME CHANGER for me. honestly!! it’s an app that connects you to your library’s “virtual library” and you can borrow as many ebooks or audiobooks as you please. game changer i tell you!!! overdrive is the company that created libby and they have an app as well, but i’m not entirely sure what the difference is between those two. i end up using libby because the interface is better.
i know, i know. not every library has a virtual library and i can only vouch for those in the US. but i hope this was helpful to some of you!
i had scribd for about a year and it’s essentially netflix for books. this was how i originally got into audiobooks because all the books i wanted to read had 6+ month holds on libby. *sigh* but scribd is great!! their selection is huge and fairly up to date. there are some limitations after you read too many audiobooks in a month (aka like 6+, i believe) but i still think it’s worth the price.
last but certainly not least, audible!! aka the og audiobook platform. rather than borrowing (which is what the other two platforms are), these are audiobooks that are yours to keep. now i know you probably won’t be re-listening to your audiobooks (maybe), but i got audible so i could own the harry potter series in it’s full audio glory. and lemme tell you: i’d probably re-listen to that. a big plus to audible is that you’re also able to return any audiobook within a year (?) and get your credit back. so if you want to be real nifty, you can continuously buy/return your books. *eyes warily*
how do you do it????
now onto ACTUALLY LISTENING TO YOUR AUDIOBOOKS. you found where to get them, now what? this was a question that constantly plagued me when i initially got into audiobooks because i didn’t know how to listen to them. SO. here’s when i found the best time to listen:
during your commute
if you’re like me and have a long commute to and from work/school, this is when audiobooks are the best!! it’s an hour (or two for me) every day of guarantee reading. because of this, i was able to finish books in two or three days without changing up my schedule.
while doing chores/errands
also great!! pretty much any activity that requires little to no brainwork (see: washing dishes, tidying, folding clothes, etc). we want to be able to focus on our book, while also ~doing something~.
your morning/night routine
what audiobooks should i start with?
at first, i felt like i was constantly struggling because i couldn’t tell if 1) i didn’t like the book, 2) i didn’t like the narrator, or 3) i didn’t like audiobooks, period. and honestly, i still can’t tell sometimes when i have a bad audiobook experience. when i first started, i would listen to ~self help~ or memoirs or essays, genres i hardly ever read IRL but wanted to listen because the author was narrator. personally, i don’t think that was such a good idea, but WE’VE LEARNED. when you’re starting off, it can seem like A LOT. i recommend:
a reread of one of your faves
one of my first audiobook faves was a reread of the percy jackson series, by rick riordan!! started off with something you know you’ll like and a story you’re familiar with will help you get into the medium. the pjo prose is super fun and witty, so it’s enjoyable to listen. also the narrator was fantastic. i flew by the books and was transported to camp half blood. :”)
the harry potter series, by j.k. rowling
for most, this is probably a reread. BUT. it was not for me. for some reason, i could not finish the fourth HP book no matter how hard i tried. but you guyyyyys, these audiobooks are truly one of my favorites. it’s something i would listen to every year when winter comes around. it brings me in the mood.
the night circus, by erin morgenstern
i’m CLEARLY biased towards this narrator because he also narrated the HP series, but it’s because he’s so wonderful!!! also the night circus has the one of the most cinematic and beautiful prose in all of literary history!! (so biased.) i’d highly recommend audiobook-ing this novel rather than reading it because it feels like an experience.
the diviners series, by libba bray
one of my favorites!!! an underrated icon!!!! i was meaning to read these books for EVER but i finally got around to it – thanks to audiobooks. :”) i love the narrator, the cast of characters, and all of the above. i don’t know if the audiobook is just exceptionally good or if the book itself is exceptionally good. (maybe both.) either way, READ IT. or LISTEN TO IT.
a book that you’d find hard to get through
for me, that would be intense high fantasy (echm the poppy war) or a book that seems kinda big and intimidating (um east of eden!!). i’d use this tip for those who are already comfortable with audiobooks. nowadays, i use this to read books i’ve been meaning to read for years, but for some reason have never gotten to them. OR genres i’ve been trying to branch out to, but find intimidating. just click play, continue with your chores or commute, and immerse yourself into the story.
does it even count as reading?????
listen bud, this is a pretty controversial
but obvious to me question and here’s the basic answer: YES. and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
does this mean i’m an audiobook guru now?
YES IT DOES. well, if you didn’t start your first audiobook that’s a questionable answer BUT i believe you’re very qualified.