The most popular post I’ve ever shared here on the blog is called Audible Pros and Cons. I’ve updated the piece at least once since I started the blog almost two years ago, and I’ve written about how to make sure you find the best audiobooks. One reason I think these posts are so popular is that a lot of people hear about Audible but aren’t really sure how it works–do you buy one audiobook at a time? Is it a subscription service? What’s the deal?
If you’re wondering about any of those questions, I encourage you to click the links above and read my thoughts on the whole process. Today’s post isn’t so much about the “how” of Audible, it’s about the “why.” I thought I’d take a minute and share three reasons why I’m currently loving Audiobooks, the “magic” of Audible, if you will!
Let me start by saying that I wasn’t always a believer in the audiobook. I think somehow I thought that it was “cheating” to listen to a book instead of actually read it. I’m not really sure what got me past that, but I’m so glad I did. Yes, listening to an audiobook is different from reading an actual book, and I don’t think anything can replace the feeling of holding a book and turning the pages, but I’ve realized that audiobooks are good for a few specific reasons.
1. Audiobooks help you read more and in more places.
I’ve mentioned this point in almost every post I’ve written about audiobooks, but it’s been especially true for me lately. I’ve listened to books on the treadmill, books in the car, books while I do my hair and makeup, books everywhere! If you’re a book lover, this is awesome because it allows you to “read” while your hands are occupied. The Audible app even lets you set a sleep timer, so sometimes when I can’t sleep I set the audiobook to play for thirty minutes, hoping it will help me get to sleep. **If you’re listening to a really exciting book, though, this might have the opposite effect! 🙂
2. Audiobooks are a happy medium between book and movie.
Sometimes when books are made into movies, the directors and producers do a really good job of capturing the content of the book. Other times, when you’ve read a book first the actors in the movie version might not look anything like the ones you’ve envisioned in your head.
That’s where audiobooks can provide a unique option. You still get all the fun of visualizing the world of the story and imagining what the characters look like, but you have the added bonus of hearing the story read in a dramatic fashion. In a way, the audio version lets you submerse yourself even more in the story, if you let it! There were days when I was listening to Ready Player One that I didn’t want to get out of my car. I would sit in the parking lot and try to find a good stopping place–except there wasn’t one!
3. Audiobooks provide you with a different way to read books you might never read otherwise.
This is true of long history books or biographies, books about science, and even novels that seem to be out of reach for some reason or another.
Case in point: The Lord of the Rings. I know, I know, with all the talking I do about Oxford and C.S. Lewis, I should be a huge Tolkien fan, right? Well, here’s a major literary confession: I’ve never finished reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’ve started it several times, and I’ve even finished the first book in its entirety. For some reason when I get into the second book, I get really bogged down and…bored.
Shh, don’t tell anyone–they might take away my library card!
It’s true, though, Tolkien’s specific brand of fantasy is hard for me to read. There’s just so much going on in the world he’s created. There are multiple languages and lots of songs and characters with names I can’t keep straight. When I tell people that I’ve never finished these books, I usually say that Tolkien’s just too smart for me. I can’t imagine how he could actually create unique languages with consistent grammar rules!
This wouldn’t be a problem, except in October I’m going to Hutchmoot, the Rabbit Room’s annual gathering, and I want to at least have some understanding of all the good things that people say Tolkien offers–all the reasons I want to love these books! So, last month I decided to use my Audible credit on The Fellowship of the Ring, the first novel in the trilogy. Even though I’ve already read it once before, I enjoyed listening to the audible version. The narrator makes the voices distinct and even creates tunes for the many songs that fill the pages of the book.
I haven’t quite finished it yet, but so far I’ve enjoyed it! The second one was on sale for $4.95 a few weeks ago, and I downloaded it. I’ll let you know how it goes! That was the book that I couldn’t seem to get through when I tried to read it in college.
Any Tolkien fans out there want to tell me what I’m missing? Is there anyone like me out there who wants to love LOTR but just can’t seem to? Let me know in the comments!
I hope this post has shown you a few things to love about Audible and audiobooks in general.
Whether you’re turning pages or turning up the volume, keep reading!