I love audiobooks! What about you? Are you already in love with them, too, or are you here to find out about audiobook benefits so you can decide whether you want to give them a chance?
As a child, I used to listen to audiobooks all the time. As it turns out, now that I’m an adult, audiobooks have even more benefits for me that I wouldn’t be able to find with other forms of reading. I have to admit that I was a bit of a book snob in the past though and audiobooks weren’t really on my radar. I was young and had lots of reading time. And yes, without knowing anything else about them, audiobooks just didn’t seem like “real reading” to me. Gasp!!
Related article: Audiobooks vs. Reading Print/Ebooks
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How my Love for Audiobooks started…
For me, everything changed on a 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.
And listening to it blew my mind! It started my audiobook love…
As I mentioned before, 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 when I was drawing or playing by myself. 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! Listening to one of my absolute favorite books, brought to life by amazing actors, while packing my dishwasher (yes, I’m 100% sure that was one of the things I did while listening to my first audiobook), was pure bliss.
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”. That time really shaped the basis for this very audiobook blog because I was relentless in finding the best ways to listen to as many audiobooks as I wanted while keeping it affordable.
Related article: How to listen to Audiobooks – A Guide for Beginners
The Top 7 Audiobook Benefits
1. Never too busy to read!
Between work and my little girls, 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 while doing all the many things that have to be done anyway.
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. Audiobooks make it so much easier to fit books into your daily life and that’s why this is number 1 on my list of audiobook benefits!
Related article: Why Audiobook Listeners aren’t lazy!
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 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, audiobooks give you adventures, excitement, and keep your mind engaged. This is really one of the most important audiobook benefits!
3. Narrators are magic!
A good narrator makes the story come to life and turns it into a movie in your head! There’s actually scientific proof that listening to an audiobook is a more captivating experience than watching a movie. And this is thanks to the magic of voice actors!
The most popular narrators don’t just read a book. They perform it! And while a bad narrator can ruin even the best story, 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. They make the characters’ feelings and motivations more relatable.
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.
This is one of the audiobook benefits that are easily underestimated or ignored, but voice actors can really help you immerse yourself into a story.
4. Re-Discover your Favorites!
As I mentioned in the beginning, my first audiobook was Neverwhere. It was so exciting to experience this story I have loved for a long time in such a different way. This was the BBC full-cast radio play and it felt like listening to a movie.
Re-reading beloved stories in audio format is one of my favorite audiobook benefits and something I highly recommend to anyone new to audiobooks or struggling with the format. It’s so fascinating to hear these characters come to life, but if your focus shortly drops, it’s easy to get right back into the story because you already know it.
Unlike movie adaptions, audiobooks are “the real deal”. Unabridged audiobooks give back the book word for word, exactly as the author wrote them! Abridged productions like radio plays are shortened, but still much closer to the original book than a movie could be. And in your imagination, everything will look exactly the way you want it to be! Something that book worms often criticize about movie adaptions of their favorite books.
5. The perfect Sleeping 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, you 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!
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 intrusive thoughts and worries that keep them awake. 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!
I should add that this is a somewhat controversial audiobook benefit. Many people have told me that they hate how audiobooks make them fall asleep. So whether or not this is something you will love about audiobooks is really an individual thing!
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!
One of the underrated audiobook benefits is what a blessing they are for those bookworms among us who get motion sickness when trying to read in a moving car or train. With your earbuds in, you can enjoy your story while looking out of the window!
7. Audiobooks 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 one of the biggest audiobook benefits is how inclusive they are! 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 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. And I am so happy for all the audiobook fans whose quality of life has improved significantly thanks to this book format./