Audiobooks Will Be Your New Best Friend

Photo by Distingué CiDDiQi on Unsplash

Many of my past New Year’s resolutions followed a common theme of “physical health”: exercise more (this was doable), eat better (not specific enough), cut out sugar (impossible). Last year, I decided to read more books which was enriching and exciting. This year, I set out to get into audiobooks.

To date, I have listened to 13 books.

The first audiobook I completed was “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides. I started and finished it on the first of January during my drive from Southeast Michigan to Indianapolis. Mystery was the perfect genre to get into this new format as it held my attention.

My fear about and reluctance to try audiobooks was that I wouldn’t be able to focus on them. This was not the case for this particular book because it had separate voices for the male and female characters’ perspectives rather than one person changing their voice. I have since learned this is not always the case for audiobooks.

Part of what made this resolution so easy to delve into was my move to Washington DC for the semester. There are a lot of lifestyle changes I have made since moving here, the first being my level of activity. I started going on early morning walks, and instead of music to occupy my mind, I found audiobooks to listen to.

As someone who typically reads at a faster pace, I listen to every book on times two speed resulting in expedited results. It is the perfect solution for someone who wants to read but is always on the go.

Since it is only March, this isn’t a complete recollection of my year of audiobooks. Rather, it is a documented start to my journey and how it has impacted me thus far.

Not-so-positive takeaways from three months of audiobooks:

  1. Missing out on the author’s writing style: If you are a writer, then you understand the benefit of reading other authors’ works; it helps to understand writing styles and grammar rules. Without seeing the words, it removes that beneficial element which is something I didn’t realize I would miss.
  2. Some books are not better as audiobooks: Some authors write work to be read, not listened to. I found this to be true of Joan Didion’s “A Year of Magical Thinking.” This is something that will likely change from person to person but be warned that some books will not translate well as audio.
  3. It can make reading physical/digital books harder: The ease of putting in headphones and being transported into a story via audiobook makes reading a physical book seem like more work than it really is, especially if it’s a new book.

Positive takeaways from three months of audiobooks:

  1. Memoirs read by their authors are fantastic: Looking at you Patti Smith. It adds a level of intimacy when you hear how an author pronounces, annunciates, and emphasizes their words in ways you wouldn’t have as the reader.
  2. Some books are better as audiobooks: This is specific to “Sourdough” by Robin Sloan which I am currently listening to. Reviews had me wondering if I would enjoy the quirky plot, but the added music and voices give the story greater depth than its physical or digital version could offer me.
  3. It is a great way to plow through high reading goals: If you are someone who sets triple-digit reading goals, then audiobooks will be your saving grace. Cars, showers, walks, and Metro commutes are all places I have listened to books where I otherwise may not have been able to read.

If you were looking for your sign to start listening to audiobooks, this is it. I mean it. Go, find an audiobook. Begin your own journey into the wonderful world of having books read to you. Then come back and let me know if you love audiobooks as much as I do.

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