Over the past few years I’ve had several people suggest that I start listening to audiobooks. In all honesty, I wasn’t a big fan of the idea. For me, the pleasure of reading comes from holding a book in my hands and flipping the pages. I enjoy the way a physical book can distract me from other things going on around me. I figured that audiobooks wouldn’t entertain me in the same way or feel as satisfying to complete.
But when I was listening to my favourite podcast My Favorite Murder a few weeks ago and heard an ad for the Amazon audiobook app Audible, I figured I’d give it a try. Besides, who am I to pass up a free trial on anything?
So, using my MFM code, I downloaded the app and two free audiobooks. I chose two books that I already had hard copies of from the local library (just in case I hated the audiobook versions) and I got started right away.
I listened to Coffin Road by Peter May first. You can see my review for that book here. It’s a very enjoyable book with a great plot and interesting, unexpected twists and turns.
During my first hour or so of listening, I had a hard time staying focused on the voice telling me the story through my headphones. Tiny little things would distract me and I would have to rewind and start over. I gave up on that first listening session pretty quickly.
The next day I decided to try listening again as I walked to work, and I found it easier to follow along. This became my routine. I would walk and listen every day. Eventually I got through the entire book.
Here are a few things that I learned along the way:
- Audiobooks are probably fantastic for people who commute to work or spend a lot of time in cars. Since I don’t have a car, I can’t say this for sure. But listening made my walks to and from work more enjoyable, so I can imagine it would make car rides more bearable as well.
- Audiobooks are not ideal for people who are easily distracted. I’m so used to listening to pre-made playlists and not really paying attention to the music or lyrics. Having to constantly remind myself to listen and pay attention was a little frustrating at times.
- The kind of book you pick to listen to REALLY matters. The reason I stuck it out and listened to the whole book was because I wanted to know the ending. I was engaged enough in the story that I didn’t want to give up.
- Audiobooks (at least to me) aren’t as satisfying as reading a physical book. I didn’t feel the sense of accomplishment when I finished listening to Coffin Road that I normally do when I finish reading a book.
- Audible is a worthwhile investment for anyone with a busy life who wants to stay engaged in the literary world. Being able to fit your book consumption into everyday life while you walk, drive, or exercise is great. Audible offers that opportunity to you. While I may prefer reading hard copies, I also have to admit that I am blessed with the time to do that. I don’t have a family to look after when I’m done work and on weekends, so I’m able to budget in time for reading. For anyone who can’t do that, give Audible a try. It may just get you back into books!
I’m currently in the middle of listening to my second audiobook (Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath) and I can already say I’m better adjusted to listening and paying attention now. I’m finding it a lot easier to follow and I haven’t had to rewind as often. Stay tuned for a review of that book soon!
Overall, I’m happy I gave audiobooks a try, and I would definitely recommend them to anyone who doesn’t have the time for reading hard copies.