6 Things to Consider When Trying Audiobooks

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Audiobooks have grown in popularity over the past few years thanks to Audible and other streaming services. At first, I thought audiobooks were weird because I couldn’t imagine listening to books instead of reading them. However, over the past few months, I have reconsidered my opinion. I’ve grown to love listening to audiobooks.

If I have learned anything over the course of my writing life, it’s that reading for inspiration is essential. I said it in my “4 Things I Learned from My College Writing Program,” but writers cannot work in a vacuum. Therefore, it’s essential for writers to be voracious readers. But, it’s difficult to find time for work, chores, writing, reading, and life in general. Sure, you can prioritize, or you can discover the time-saving wonder of audiobooks. Nothing is without its pro and cons, so here are six things to consider when diving into audiobooks.

Audiobooks are timesavers because you can do other things while listening

One of the biggest advantages of audiobooks is the ability to do other chores while listening. I enjoy listening to audiobooks at work and on my daily commute. It’s nice to have mental stimulation while doing boring tasks. Others may find listening to audiobooks while cleaning or working out enjoyable. Since you’re not tied down to a physical book, writers can still read a variety of books while accomplishing other menial tasks to boost their knowledge and inspiration level.

Audiobooks allow for quick plot intake

Even though it can be hard to listen for parts of the writing craft, audiobooks allow listeners/readers to absorb plot faster. If listening to an audiobook while completing other tasks, you can complete a book way faster by listening than if you were reading it. I find I get a lot of my inspiration from the storyline of books, so it’s nice to have a steady stream of inspiration that I may not be able to make time for otherwise.

Audiobooks are as accessible as physical books

I borrow all of my audiobooks from my public library. Most public library systems have access to thousands of titles to listen to. (You can see what your library has by using this link) Even though some titles are limited, readers can still find the exact title they desire through Audible, or other audiobook platforms. If you want to read a book, chances are there is already an accompanying audiobook available for you to enjoy.

Audiobooks don’t allow for in-depth look at craft

Along with getting inspiration, reading helps me look closer to see what other writers are doing with their words. One of the best ways to improve your own writing is by studying how other successful writers use diction and syntax. Listening for these things is difficult. I find that to look in depth into the writing craft, you have to read the words yourself. While the plot may be inspirational, it is nearly impossible to gain inspiration for your own writing style when listening to audiobooks.

Audiobooks make it easy to zone out while listening

I’m completely guilty of doing this whenever I’m tired, or my mind is wandering. When taking a trip last year, I tried listening to my audiobook on the plane, but easily zoned out and fell asleep, missing a whole chapter before I woke up. Audiobooks may not require as much focus as a physical book, but it’s still important not to tune them out or you will lose the purpose. Zoning out is also easy to do when your mind is cluttered. I recommend only listening to audiobooks if you are doing a task that doesn’t require your full attention, or if you are actively engaging in the book. Otherwise, you may find you missed something you wouldn’t have reading.

Audiobooks depend on the quality of the narrator

When reading a book, you are your own narrator. However, since audiobooks have someone narrating for you, the enjoyment of the book depends on if you can stand the narrator. I’m not going to lie. I have stopped listening to books before because the narrator is awful. Sometimes, you can’t get past the way they speak. Most audiobooks allow you to listen to a sample of the book before downloading, so you can avoid bad narrators before wasting your time.

I hope this gives you something to think about when considering audiobooks. I know they aren’t for everyone, but I have found by integrating audiobooks has revolutionized my reading and writing life. I will be sure to create a post with my recommended titles soon.

Have you jumped on the audiobook trend? Do you have any audiobook recommendations? Leave them below!

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