I started hearing about audio books about 2 years ago and I was intrigued, I subscribed to Audible for a free month and downloaded a free book as part of my subscription. Unfortunately it didn’t leave an impression on me so I didn’t explore it any further. Fast forward to January 2019 there was a book I wanted to read desperately and I knew I wouldn’t be able to find it in the shops in South Africa so I decided to try the audiobook route again. This time around I was more in tune and I was keen to find out if listening to audiobooks as a form of reading is something that I can take into the future.
So audiobooks are just that: books that are read out loud for you to listen, the narrator can either be the author or a professional narrator. You can get audiobooks from Audible (which is what I’ve used) but there are others like Google AudioBooks. I’ve listened to 3 audiobooks thus far, all of them are non-fiction: I’m Judging You by Luvvie, Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Around the way girl by Taraji P. Henson. It was definitely by coincidence that all the books were by female authors!
What I’ve enjoyed
There are a few things I’ve enjoyed about audiobooks:
I love that I get my reading on anywhere, I’ve listened to audiobooks in my car, in the shower (using my bluetooth speaker) and whilst queuing to renew my car licence disc.
I don’t know about you but I would love to carry a physical book with me so I can get in some reading if I have some free time but my handbag is already bursting at the seams! So I enjoyed that my book was in my phone and I just had to whip out my earphones and plug them in and I’d be good to go.
Having someone read out the book makes it seem like a storytime which I loved. I found that my imagination was let free to roam wild because I wasn’t the one doing the reading, so I could visualise the story more clearly.
What I didn’t enjoy
Some of my not so favourite things:
I’ve lost track a number of times whilst listening to audiobooks, especially when I’m driving. I’d see something on the road and end up concentrating on that and before you know it my mind has wandered off.
Linked to the above, I found it hard to find my place in the book after those moments when I lost track! I’d end up rewinding and fast forwarding a number of times in order to find my place.
This issue was resolved but at the beginning I used to put on my audiobook before I went to sleep and I’d doze off and it would play until I woke up in the middle of the night and switch it off. Again this would make me lose my place, but I found that the audible app has a sleep timer option so I’d set that to 8 minutes and listen till I fell asleep knowing that it would switch itself off.
I think my audiobook trial this time around has left me converted and willing to try them out more but I will still read physical books as well – no doubt about that!