As a child, I used to listen to cassette tapes all the time. As it turns out, audiobooks have even more benefits for me now that I’m an adult!
For many years,
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But it all changed that fateful day in August 2014 when I saw a Neil Gaiman tweet. In it, he mentioned that the BBC full-cast production of Neverwhere was available on Audible.com.
Neverwhere was and is one of my absolute favorite books. And the idea to re-read it in this form really appealed to me. So, this became the first audiobook I bought.
Listening to it blew my mind! And it started my audiobook love…
What’s great for kids…
When I was a child, I had a lot of cassette tapes with fairytales and stories for children. They helped me fall asleep in the evenings and were fun company while I was playing.
This probably had a big part in me getting curious about audiobooks the moment I stumbled over an interesting production. And it turned out to be the coolest thing for me. Listening to one of my absolute favorite books, brought to life by amazing actors, all the while packing my dishwasher (yes, I’m 100% sure that was one of the things I did while listening to my first audiobook), it was pure bliss for me.
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… can make Adulting so much more fun!
Audiobooks and I were meant to be. I instantly embraced the audio lifestyle. I bought a ton of audiobooks in Whispersync deals for ebooks I already owned. And since money was tight, I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited only a little while later and started to work my way through “Read and Listen for Free”.
Audiobook Benefit 1: Never too busy to read!
Between work and my little girl, I don’t have a lot of time to sit down with a book. And funnily, book blogging made this even worse.
But I’ve always been a reader. I can’t imagine a life without books. And instead of stressing myself, trying to carve out reading time, I just listen to my audiobooks.
There are so many opportunities to make some extra listening time while doing chores or traveling. That’s why I always keep my headphones within reach.
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Audiobook Benefit 2: Chores become fun!
Have you ever looked forward to cleaning the kitchen? Well, I have! No, I don’t love cleaning, quite the opposite actually. But I really enjoy the undisturbed listening time while crossing something off my daily to-do-list.
Audiobooks turn hours of my day into fun that would otherwise be rather unenjoyable.
Scrubbing the bathroom, putting laundry in the washing machine, dusting… Instead of being bored or even annoyed while doing these repetitive tasks, my audiobooks give me adventures and excitement.
Audiobook Benefit 3: Narrators are magic!
A good narrator makes the story come to life and turns it into a mind-movie.
There’s actually scientific proof that listening to an audiobook is a more captivating experience than watching a movie.
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And this is thanks to the magic of voice actors. They don’t just read a book. They perform it. A good narrator can turn a mediocre book into an outstanding audiobook.
I empathize more strongly with protagonists in audiobooks than when I read an ebook or print. The narrators captivate me and make me see everything through the eyes of the characters.
Sometimes, when I read reviews of a book after listening to it, I notice that I experienced it very differently because of the format. It’s true that no two people ever read the same book. But it’s doubly so when listening to an audiobook because the narrators make it such an immersive experience.
Audiobook Benefit 4: Re-Discover your Favorites!
As I mentioned in the beginning, my first audiobook was Neverwhere**. It was so exciting to experience this story in such a different way. It was an epic full-cast production and felt like listening to a movie.
I still love picking up my favorite stories from pre-audio days to listen to instead of re-reading the books.
Unlike movie adaptions, audiobooks are the real deal. Unabridged audiobooks give back the story word for word. Abridged productions are shortened, but still much closer to the original book than a movie could be. And I can imagine everything just the way I want it to be!
Audiobook Benefit 5: The perfect Sleep-Aid!
I used to have trouble falling asleep. It wasn’t bad, no insomnia. But I was lying awake just that little bit longer than is comfortable. And you probably know how that can backfire sometimes. At first, I’d just lie there not thinking anything specific and then, boom, “Oh damn, I’ll be so tired tomorrow“.
It can be very tricky to get out of the worry-spiral without a distraction.
Audiobooks completely fixed this for me. There might still be the odd night here and there when I struggle. But most nights I fall asleep about 2 minutes after lying down. I know this for a fact because the next morning I go to my audiobook bookmark. And that’s usually the last bit of the story I remember!
My dad used to read to me when I was a child. Maybe that kind of wired me for being able to fall asleep so comfortably while hearing someone talk. But I believe audiobooks are worth a try for anyone struggling with the worry-spiral and falling asleep. This hasn’t been researched yet, but a lot of people report better results with audiobooks than with OTC sleep medication.
And audiobooks are definitely better than trying to fall asleep with the TV running. No blue light and no flashes!
Audiobook Benefit 6: Fun in the Car!
We have an RV and it is so thoroughly enjoyable to listen to a great story while driving somewhere!
Fortunately, I don’t have to commute. But my husband has to drive an hour to and from work and he has developed almost as much of an audiobook addiction as me since I got him hooked. The books keep him nicely entertained on an otherwise extremely boring daily trip. I think they even cured his road rage!
Audiobooks are also a true blessing for those bookworms among us who get motion sickness when trying to read in a moving car or train.
Audiobook Benefit 7: They are inclusive!
There is a lot of prejudice against audiobooks. That they are for lazy people, that it’s not “real reading”, that you don’t learn from listening. As I mentioned above, I’m talking from experience here.
But audiobooks have been invented for the blind. And they continue to be an amazing invention not only for visually impaired readers but for millions of people who can’t read books because they aren’t physically able to hold a paperback or e-reader or have trouble reading due to dyslexia or brain injuries.
Everyone deserves to enjoy books, the escapism they offer, the information they can transport, and the ability to go to places that aren’t real or that you can’t reach for whatever reason.
I was so glad I had my audiobooks when I was too sick to leave the bed or even to hold up my phone to read ebooks.
If you also want to enjoy the benefits of audiobooks but think they don’t fit into your book budget, check out these options for free or cheap audiobooks: