Why I Love Audiobooks

I am a relatively recent convert to the audiobook experience. 

Before October last year, I had really only used audiobooks when teaching Shakespeare texts in high school, as it took the stress out of the actual reading for kids who weren’t sure how to approach or pronounce the parts of the language that were unfamiliar to them.  Beyond that, i had suggested them for people, especially kids, who weren’t keen on actually reading, or people who were sight impaired, or… you get my drift. They were always a good idea for someone else.

Of course, thinking of them in that way meant that I never really tried them out for myself. 

It was only when my own circumstances changed that I learned my lesson. Quite unexpectedly, I found myself recovering from emergency spinal surgery, spending a lot of time lying down, and unable to work for an expended period. I was in pain, forced to rest, and couldn’t really focus my eyes too well for some time.

On an impulse, I purchased an audiobook and found myself completely engrossed in the story. When it finished, I bought another. And another. I was hooked. 

The audiobooks I listened to during my recovery kept me company when I couldn’t sleep, and gave me something to think about other than the pain. They took me out of my hospital bed and carried me to different places. They gave my mind something to do when my body couldn’t do much at all. They were great for my mental health. And I really enjoyed them. 

Now, I listen to audiobooks on my commute to work each day, instead of getting steamed up over news and current affairs on the radio. I listen when I am resting, which I still need to do as my back is still healing. I often listen during my lunch break at work, which is actually much healthier than working straight through it as I have tended to do for most of my career. I listen while doing the dishes. 

Audiobooks have not replaced my reading time. I love reading books, and treasure the time I get to spend in them. That will never change. I’m a book nerd, through and through. Even a cursory glance at my Goodreads profile, Twitter feed or Book Squirrel blog will testify to that. 

Listening to audiobooks has also enabled me to add another dimension to my book blog, with audiobook reviews being added to the repertoire, along with Indie book reviews, author spotlights and interviews, and other bookish goodness. As I like to deliver varied and interesting content, that has been a bonus. 

Audiobooks have enhanced different times in my day when I can’t read, and made them more interesting and stimulating. They may not be for everyone, but adding some great listening time to my routine has been a positive and enjoyable development for me.  

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29 thoughts on “Why I Love Audiobooks

  1. I’m so glad to see you write about audio books.
    I’m a totally blind reader who quite literally gobbles books.
    My reading sources are the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicap and Audible as well as using the voice over on the Kindle app which allows me to read books which are TTS enabled (Text to speech)
    I’d just like to add that the NLS National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicap is not just for those who are blind or visually challenges.
    There are many disabilities recognized which will qualify someone for this magnificent free reading library.
    Thousands upon thousands of books are available.
    You may see more at bard.loc.gov
    I’d also like to say that I wish more Indie authors would contact this service to have their books submitted.
    I love audio books and they are my main source of intertainment.
    I do not enjoy TV but this is not as some assume due to my blindness, I just find that for the most part it’s a bunch of mindless jabber which does nothing to feed my need for enjoyment or education.
    Love this post.

  2. I love this post and Patty’s response. I too am blind and use NLS. I wasn’t taught Braille as a child, when it would have been possible for me to excel at it. I use Braille and would be lost without it, but I prefer listening to books. I enjoy knitting, and I can do that and read at the same time. Of course, when I want to write about the books I’ve read and include a quote or two, I confirm the sentence structure and spelling with accessible DAISY books from Bookshare, a subscription service that is well worth the investment. .

    1. It’s the best experience you’ll ever have. Once you’ve read via audio book you’ll not go back.

      Something else, for all you writers out there, when you want to proofread something next time enable narrator on your computer, or voice over on your Mac or smartphone or tablet. You can pick up all kinds of things you never will by reading with your eyes.

      1. I never really appreciated how much doing this could help until I started using the voice over on my iPhone it reads a bit more clearer than my JAWS screen reader and I find a lot of mistakes I used to skip over.

    1. Hello to The Story Reading Ape.

      I’m not certain but I believe now, for the most part it is automatic for the eBooks to become TTS Enabled upon creation but it is for sure something people should make certain is enabled when they put out their books.

      Blind persons read and majority of them read a lot.

      We buy books like everyone else.

      Another thing is we wish more would put their books onto Smashwords because there are more accessible versions available as eBooks there.

    2. My novel “The Heart of Applebutter Hill” was published on Bookshare even before it was out in print. I encourage all authors to contact Bookshare to have their books made available there. One group of readers who are routinely overlooked by authors and publishers alike is the deaf-blind community. For these people, Braille is the only format they can read. Bookshare, which is free to US students, offers a variety of downloadable formats including DAISY text, synthetic voice audio and digital Braille. The devices that allow people to read this relatively new format are expensive, but it is the future for Braille readers, allowing people to carry many books on a small digital device. Digital or Refreshable Braille is far less expensive to produce as well. Contact them at:
      http://Bookshare.org

  3. This is an excellent post. I am a blind individual and love listening to audiobooks, especially if the narrators makes the stories come to life. When I was six, my parents bought me a set of dramatized Bible stories on cassette which I listened too constantly. I remember suffering from pneumonia when I was eight. The audiobook editions of the Ramona Quimby books, by Beverly Cleary, narrated by Stockard Channing, helped me to recuperate. I still love listening to audiobooks along with reading Braille books. When I published my anthology of retold fairy tales last year entitled Blind Beauty and Other Tales of Redemption, I worked to make certain an audiobook was made as they have played such an important role in my life.

      1. Thank you so much. I was super impressed with Becky Doughty, the narrator I chose to bring my anthology to life. Her vocal versatility and empathy for the characters touched my heart. The book even includes a song, and she has a lovely singing voice, so that made it extra special to me.

        My favorite audiobook narrators are Barbara Rosenblat, Simon Vance, and Davina Porter. I also love author Neil Gaiman, who narrates his own books. He’s not only a talented author but a talented narrator as well.

        I forgot to mention that I love listening to Shakespeare plays on audio. I remember the first time I listened to Macbeth and how the witches scared me! My mother taught hfreshman English, so I bought her an audio copy of Romeo and Juliet one year for her class. It helped the kids, and it helped her, too, as she said it wasn’t always easy listening to the kids stumble their way through Shakespeare’s poetry! What play did you teach? My favorite Shakespeare play is Othello.

      2. I have taught at least a dozen different plays by Shakespeare. I’m currently doing Richard III with one class, and will soon be doing Much Ado About Nothing with another.

      3. How wonderful! Much Ado about Nothing is an excellent play, especially the banter between Beatrice and Benedict! Are you a professor? One of my favorite college classes was a studcy of Shakespeare’s classes. Richard III is good, too. I love Josephine Tey’s novel, The Daughter of Time, which seeks to clear Richard’s name.

      4. Excellent! That’s a wonderful age. When I was teaching seniors, I taught an American literature class. I’m glad you get to teach some Shakespeare plays not commonly taught in high schools.
        Have a wonderful rest of your school year.

  4. I often hear of people listening while driving or out walking, etc. I’ve heard some excellent narrators, like Tony Cleary who does the Dickens sequels by Charlton Daines and Lauren Ezzo who does one of Austin Crawley’s Horror books very well!

  5. I am new to audiobooks too. I don’t know why I never tried them except for on long trips, driving 1500 miles to “see the folks” for the holidays or for a two-week stay during summer vacations. After reading blogging friends’ recommendations for audiobooks, I tried one and found it was a good thing for the very times and situations you have described. I have joined two blogging friends on Audiobook Challenge 2019, and have read four since January. I hope to read 30 in 2019. I’d better get with it! LOL

    1. Because I don’t like TV I spend lots of time reading audio books.

      I read while eating meals, I read while bathing, doing housework, while walking the dog, waiting in offices, and for the bus.

      I read when in airports, and while flying. Basically any time I can find a few minutes to stop work on the computer I have a book going.

      You’d be amazed at the time you have to read audio books.

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