The Best Free Romance Audiobooks of 2018

The Best Free Romance Audiobooks of 2018 - these are the most popular audiobooks released this year. All of them are either in the Audible Romance Package or Kindle Unlimited Listen for Free. So you can listen to all of these audiobooks in your free test month! Click to see the audio book list and save the pin for later :-) #booklist #bestof2018 #romance

The Year’s End Best-Of-Edition of “New Audiobooks, New Deals and New News”

Week 52, 2018

It’s the last Friday of 2018. So let’s take a look at the great new audiobooks that came out this year and were added to our binge-tastic Unlimited Audiobook programs: The Audible Romance Package and Kindle Unlimited Listen For Free.

But first….
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Why Audiobooks matter: Let’s talk about Inclusion and History

The history of audiobooks - an inforgraphic by LovelyAudiobooks.info

A few numbers

Today I want to take you on a little tour through the history of audiobooks to show you why they matter. Currently in 2018, 18% of US consumers listen to audiobooks, compared to 74% readers overall, 67% print readers and 26% e-book readers (1).

There are two defining factors in the audio success story: The first is technological development. Prior to the LP we already had radio plays. But a talking book that you could consume on your own schedule was an impossible thing. The cheaper and more convenient technology has become, the more popularity audiobooks could gain.

The other crucial aspect were disabled people. In 2015, 10.5% of 18-65 year old US citizens had a disability and 35.4% of people aged 65 and older. (2)

Now, I’m not claiming that only disabled people listen to audiobooks or that they are meant only for disabled people. I’m trying to show you why their inclusiveness is an important feature of audiobooks that deserves appreciation, no matter whether you are a listener yourself or not.

 

Inclusion and the lack of it

As readers we generally like to think of ourselves as open-minded, well-read, aware.  That’s why, fortunately, the “print vs. e-book vs. audiobook“-debate has considerably quieted down and usually only takes on the form of: “Of course every book format is equally great!” Unfortunately, I have never found a post on this topic that made a big point out of the importance of audiobooks for disabled people. Sadly, as it is so often, the not fully able-bodied remain mostly invisible.

A while ago I asked in a Facebook group (Audiobook Addicts) why people liked to listen to books. As expected, a lot of them said they listened during commutes or while doing chores. Many said that, like me, they were avid readers but didn’t have much time anymore to sit down with a book. But some also mentioned that they weren’t able to read print or e-books due to disabilities or cognitive impairments.

 

Did you know that…

…. audiobooks were invented for blind and disabled people?

…. the standard size for Braille books is 11 x 11.5 in (28 x 29.21 cm), making them very big and inconvenient to hold? (3)

…. some diseases like MS can make it difficult to hold a book or an e-reader?

…. brain injuries and brain fog can make it difficult to read?

… audiobooks help dyslexic people become better readers and turn reading into a positive experience? (4, 8)

 

Audiobooks are not for people who are too lazy to read “a real book”. Audiobooks are for people who can’t read the words, who can’t hold up a book, but also for people who are so crazy about books that they couldn’t bear not having them in their lives anymore because they work long hours.

There is a big number of avid readers among the blind and disabled since – as we readers are all well aware – : Books are uniquely able to transport the emotions necessary to let us experience something that we cannot experience in reality.

 

A brief history of audiobooks

 

 

In 1931 the American Foundation for the Blind and the Library of Congress Book for the Blind Project cooperated ion the “Talking Book Program” which developed the audiobook. At this time the amount of books that were recorded as well as their distribution was limited. The Bible, the constitution and only few fiction pieces were available through postal service.

In 1948 Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic was formed. “Learning Ally” started to provide text books for blinded WWll veterans to support their college education. LP records were invented in the same year.

In 1952 Caedmon was the first publisher to bring out an LP recording of poems and a story, read by the author. It became unexpectedly popular and turned the publisher into a household name.  The invention of the cassette in 1963 was a game-changer. Where before only few libraries offered recordings, this swiftly changed now and in the 1970’s all libraries were carrying audiobooks.

With the new technological means audiobooks kept gaining in popularity. In 1985 21 publishers offered audiobooks and recorded books became a more widely available and accepted form of entertainment.

In the 1990’s audiobooks quickly grew into an industry of their own. The Audie Awards were presented for the first time and Audiofile Magazine was launched. And already in 1997 Audible presented the first digital audio player.

In 2003 Audible made audiobooks available on Apple’s iTunes. And yet, only at this point did CD’s replace cassette tapes as the most popular format. However, in 2008 digital downloads already replaced the CD as most common way to obtain and listen to audiobooks.

The programs that first distributed audiobooks to disabled people are still active. Learning Ally is now the largest provider of audio textbooks.
(See sources 5, 6 and 7)

 

Sources:

(1) https://www.statista.com/statistics/222754/book-format-used-by-readers-in-the-us/

(2) https://disabilitycompendium.org/sites/default/files/user…/2016_AnnualReport.pdf

(3) http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Braille-Publication.html

(4) https://learningally.org/About-Us/Why-Audiobooks

(5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audiobook

(6) https://www.audiopub.org/uploads/images/backgrounds/A-HISTORY-OF-AUDIOBOOKS.pdf

(7) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_Ally

(8) http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/answers/ask-dr-pierson/keep-em-reading

Guilt-Free Alone Time for Introverted Toddler Parents

Guilt-free time alone for introverted parents

Find out how this introverted toddler-mom is getting her guilt-free alone time and how easily you can do it, too, without taking time away from your little one…

 

No Rest for the Wicked

I’m walking up and down our hall.

We have a fairly small apartment: living room, bedroom, daughter’s room, kitchen, bathroom, all pretty small.

So, I’m slowly walking through the dark hall, around the corner into the dark bedroom, turn around, walk back along the hall, into the living room, turn around, back to the bedroom.

Daughter dearest is 17 months old and she’s getting her molars. Since last week she has not slept before 10pm a single day because teething is nasty. She’s in pain. She’s a tough cookie and doesn’t cry. But she also can’t sleep.

Tonight, once again, breastfeeding and singing and cuddling couldn’t lure her into magical sleepy land. So I put her on my back in the emeibaby carrier and start walking around the apartment.

 

The Introvert Needs to Recharge

Before the molar teething got so bad I’d sometimes take 1 or 2 hours of alone-time in the evenings. Whenever I wasn’t too tired and would just fall asleep alongside her. As an introvert, I desperately need that me-time to unwind.

Therefore, one way to preserve introverts’ well-being is for them to recharge as often as possible in places where they can return to their true selves […]
Source: Wikipedia

Now, though, I have my trusted Bluetooth earpiece in my ear. Instead of watching Jessica Jones on Netflix I’m listening to the adventures of Sam the Imp [1], while walking slowly up and down to help my wonderful child fall asleep through aching gums, growing pains and development spurts.

Between playing with the little girl, cooking, doing laundry, tidying up toys, and – oh right – working, I have found a niche for guilt-free alone time that doesn’t take anything away from my baby.

 

Two Versions of Me-Time

There’s Me-Time DeLuxe, when one of the grandparents comes to visit or daddy has a day off and takes the little girl for a long walk or a playground visit. But that’s just not enough for the sensitive introverted soul. I desperately need my daily alone-time to recharge. If I interact with other people all day I end up feeling completely drained and exhausted. For introverts it’s very important to make time to gather their thoughts and just be alone with themselves. If you aren’t aware of it and/or just ignore this need, a burn-out is waiting just around the corner!

In the first year after birth I had more time to myself, because the little girl would sleep much more. And it was absolute bliss for her and me when I put her in the baby carrier. I didn’t have to use as much energy to check on her, because I could just feel her against me. And she’d enjoy all the many up-sides of being a carried baby (click here to read about it on Wikipedia).

When she became more active, started to walk more and sleep less, I was very exhausted – like pretty much all parents. I felt I had to consciously create a niche for my introverted side. This isn’t easy when you’re a working parent. Between work, cooking and keeping your house remotely clean-ish, there are simply not enough hours in a day for spending time by yourself and spending quality time with your child, while still getting enough sleep, too.

 

Daily Alone-Time for Introverted Parents

There’s only one solution: Two things at the same time! So I made my Daily Me-Time. Packing the dishwasher while the hot alpha millionaire tells the nerdy Amazonian woman that he can’t live without her anymore [2]. Folding laundry while she kisses him for the first time. Cleaning the bathroom while the Queen of Hel (no typo) flirts with an Archangel [1].

Through book-ish magic, audiobooks have brought the me-time and the wonder that are books back into my daily life. Put on those headphones and your chores or your commute turn into quality time for yourself.

 

“But I don’t like audiobooks!”

I’ve heard that a few times from fellow readers. The main issue is usually that they can’t focus on the audiobook. I’ve experienced that a few times, too. I just couldn’t focus on an audiobook. But I can tell you, it’s either because the story doesn’t work for you or the narration isn’t captivating enough.

If you want to get into audiobooks, this is the best way: Pick a few books you really love and want to re-read, go to Audible (I’d love if you used my link below for that, it supports my blog but doesn’t cost you anything extra) and search for those books. If there is an audio version, check the Sample by clicking on the arrow below the cover image. Choose one with a voice you really like.

Alternatively, if you aren’t a re-reader, look for new books from authors you know and enjoy very much. Just make sure you find a story that will really work for you and where you have more to go by than an interesting blurb. Pick something that you’d immediately read if it were a book.

Then check those voice samples! I recently read a quote about how you can fall in love with a voice. It’s true! Find a narrator whose voice you love and who makes the story come to life.

If you keep those two points in mind, I’m sure you’ll find an audiobook that is worth it and that you will love to listen to. Just don’t accidentally throw the red socks in with the white laundry because you got too distracted by your exciting new story!

Don’t forget, audiobooks can give you back considerable amounts of reading time you had to give up before.

 

All the Audiobook Love

Please follow or subscribe to Lovely Audiobooks and stay tuned for more upsides of audiobooks. Now you know how, thanks to audiobooks, introverted parents can get guilt-free alone time. Read on to find out how old audiobooks really are and why they matter so much; How they can calm your mind and help you sleep; And how Romance audiobooks can be very educational.

Check out my Audiobook Guide right away to get the best deals on high-quality Audible books.

 

Discussion

Are there other reasons why you don’t listen to audiobooks? Share your concerns in the comments below and I will look for a solution!

Are you already addicted? Share what audiobooks do for you in the comments below!

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The two books I mentioned:

[1] The Imp series by Debra Dunbar, pick it up on Amazon**

[2] Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid, pick it up on Amazon**