Now, I am a die-hard fan of the physical book. I still vividly remember the shock when my mother suggested I buy a kindle (“but Mum, I need to feeeeel the book! I need the smell!”), and I still stubbornly defend this love even when I’m dragging a suitcase full of heavy books on holiday with me.
However, I am a recent audiobook CONVERT. Most of my reading is still of physical novels, but I’m now listening to books on Audible alongside my usual reads (having multiple books on the go at a time is another first for me!) I’m loving audiobooks for their convenience, their cost, and the fact that it’s just something a bit different.
I am now well and truly an audiobook advocate, and here are my top five reasons why you should include audiobooks in your reading routines:
1. They feel like a conversation with the author
A lot of the audiobooks I have really loved lately have been autobiographies and memoirs – books such as Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton translate so well to the audiobook format. Outside the world of books, I am a big podcast fan – and listening to an autobiographical audiobook feels like one extended, in-depth podcast, like the author is personally telling you their life story. It can feel so much more personal, as if you are in an intimate conversation with the author. In both fiction and non-fiction novels, you also get to hear the intended accents and pronunciations of the book, which can shed an extra insight into the characters. Almost like being at a private reading of the book!
2. You can listen anywhere (well, almost)
The majority of the appeal of audiobooks – particularly for me – is their convenience. I am not a bulky handbag kind of girl, meaning taking a book out and about with me becomes pretty impractical at times. Coupled with my general forgetfulness, and it becomes even less likely that you will find me reading my book in public. However, audiobooks are all stored on the one device I am guaranteed to have in my hand at all times – my phone. It’s perfect for all those times when I miss a train and am usually left scrolling through my phone for an hour, thinking “I wish I’d brought my book!” Problem solved.
3. They can help you to read more books
A love of audiobooks has also led to a new first – reading multiple books at a time. I used to look at people who read four books simultaneously as FREAKS; I had no idea how they had enough space in their brain for four separate storylines! Admittedly, I’m still not at four, but having audiobooks in my reading arsenal allows me to have one book that I am physically reading, and another that I am listening to. And because of the different mediums, they are being processed in two separate parts of the brain (that one psychology module I studied at uni appears to have stayed with me for life). Ultimately, multiple books at one time means more books overall. And more reading more books can only ever be a good thing.
4. Audiobooks require much less concentration
If a physical book were a needy puppy, the audiobook would be more of an independent, chilled-out cat. They require no interaction or page-turning from the reader, leaving you free to get on with anything you like! So far, I have listened to audiobooks whilst driving, running, baking a cake, cleaning, having a bath, eating, shopping, painting… (I think that’s the full list?) Sometimes, life just doesn’t grant you enough time to sit down with a book for hours on end, and that’s where an audiobook comes in. If I fancy a read before bed, but I am too tired to concentrate on a physical book, I turn to my audiobook – it’s like having someone read you a bed-time story (and you can set a sleep timer so you don’t miss out on all the good bits!)
5. They (can be) cheap!
While there are many audiobook apps – Libby, Google Audiobooks, Kobo – my app of choice is definitely Audible, run by Amazon. Initially drawn in by the one month free trial for Amazon Prime members, I have listened to six audiobooks so far and am yet to pay a penny. For £7.99 a month, you receive one credit monthly for a free audiobook – and these can be swapped or returned an unlimited number of times. Credits accumulate every month, just meaning that the number of books you can have in your library at any one time increases every month! Put simply, you never need to pay for an audiobook (since many cost around £20!): you merely have to keep swapping them in and out of your library for an unlimited number of exciting listens!
Is anyone else an audiobook lover? What kind of books do you love to listen to?