Ten Reasons I Love Audiobooks

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I’m linking up with The Broke and The Bookish for Top Ten Tuesdays for “Ten Reasons I Love [X]”. Join up, link up, click through and see what everyone else loves, and why!

I only started listening to audiobooks two years ago. I’m pretty easy-going when it comes to books: while print will always be my first love, I’m not the type to scorn ebooks and audiobooks. Reading is reading, and I love it! That said, there are some reasons I have grown fond of audiobooks:

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Art by Philip Tseng (click)

1. It’s a bonding experience for my dad and me

My dad is legally blind and even though he can read with assistive devices such as text-enlarging tools, it takes painfully long. I used to purchase audiobooks for him, but the market for audiobooks in South Africa is so small that it used to break the bank. Since I signed us up for Audible, though, it’s been heavenly. Once a month we browse through audible and pick a book. We listen to it on our own time, and discuss it every night. My mom and I have often bonded over books, and it’s nice to have that experience with my dad now as well.

2. I can listen to it during my commute

I drive to and from work, and I always feel like the time really is dead space. It’s not uneventful enough to be spent on meditation. Listening to an audiobook means that hour (or more) a day is not wasted. (I have not mastered listening to audiobooks while running.)

3. Long books become much easier to digest

I love a good epic, but ever since I’ve started working, I find it’s really easy to get overwhelmed by a book that takes too long to read.

4. My eyes get a break

Sometimes I’m not really tired but my eyes object to doing any work.

5. Pronunciation matters

I recently read (listened to) Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa, which is set in Palestine and has some Arabic and Hebrew phrases. It doesn’t matter that I don’t speak either of the languages, I still appreciate having an idea of the pronunciation and also being forced to pay attention to the words I don’t understand. Does that make any sense? It does to me.

6. I’m more likely to react emotionally

I’m a very withdrawn reader. I rarely laugh or cry while reading a book, but I’ve noticed it happens a lot more often when I’m listening to a book. I have giggled, guffawed, and cried unexpectedly. And I like that a book can make me do that.

7. Accents!

Most audiobook narrators I’ve encountered so far are just brilliant voice actors. I love their different accents for different characters. The exception is male narrators who read all female characters in the same breathy high-pitched voice. Super annoying.

8. I visualise more

I read a study a while ago that took functional MRIs of people while listening to audiobooks. It showed that most people have a preference: either they empathise with the book, or they visualise it. I think when I read, I am a more empathic reader (nothing wrong with that). When I listen, I am more likely to visualise, and I enjoy the variety it presents.

9. I can’t speed through it

(Technically I guess I could, if I set the app on double-speed.) Sometimes I’ll speed-read, and usually not on purpose – when I’m tired, have an appointment, or when I’m excited to see what happens next. Invariably I’ll read that page again looking for a specific quote and see a paragraph I have no recollection of ever reading. Provided that I’m paying attention, this does not really happen with audiobooks.

10. It spreads the joy of reading

This is one of my favourite reasons, because it ties in with #1. I’m a huge fan of making literature accessible, and I love that audiobooks make reading accessible to people who can’t read, or don’t like to read, or simply read really slowly. Now if only audiobooks became cheaper, or more available at South African libraries.

Do you enjoy audiobooks? What has been your favourite listen?

21 thoughts on “Ten Reasons I Love Audiobooks

  1. Awh, it’s so lovely that you and your family members can enjoy together with audio-books. Really liked this post🙂 What is one of your favorite audiobooks (and the cheapest xP)?

  2. Ah, I love that you share this with your dad. That is so great. Audiobooks and I haven’t gotten along so far. Maybe I’ll try again in the future.🙂

    • The way I got into audiobooks was to listen to Harry Potter books, because I knew I loved reading the books, and somehow it made the step to audio much easier. But some people just can’t get into it, and that’s okay.

  3. That is such an awesome way for you and your dad to bond. I love audiobooks too – sometimes my schedule is so hectic I can’t find time to sit and read a physical book, and audiobooks at those times, are a blessing – not only because I get to experience a good book – but it takes my mind off work, work, work mode.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

  4. I’m still new to audiobooks but I’m loving them so far. I’m finding that I can’t stand a lot of the narrators though so I have to be careful which books I pick haha. But it helps me read extra books each month which I love🙂

    My TTT

    • Yes! There are some narrators who really annoy me. Luckily Audible lets you listen to a snippet so that is usually enough for me to realise that a certain voice is going to grind my gears.😛

  5. I never used to really enjoy listening to audio books, but recently I tried them out again and realized that they’re fantastic! I love how I can listen to them while doing other things, like walking on the treadmill or washing the dishes. My favorite thing is when authors narrate their own audio books– there’s something about hearing it read in their own voice that makes it that much more special!

    • It was the same with me – the first time I tried it I was very “meh” about it. I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to a book narrated by the author yet but my dad has and he says it’s awesome!

  6. I love this blog post. I tweeted and asked people about their impression of audio books because I wanted to know if they’re worth a shot so this post just made me consider them even more. I want to go through all the Harry Potter books but didn’t/don’t want to have to read them so was considering audio books.

  7. good points there🙂
    I especially agree with the 3rd one. Normally I don’t have time to read one book a day, but with audiobooks it’s possible.
    Plus you can read them on-the-run and when it’s dark.

    As for the 5th point, sometimes I got really annoyed when the pronunciation is not what I imagined it should sound like, sometimes even not what I KNOW it should sound like.

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