Ten Reasons Why You Should Listen To Audiobooks
On the Tattooed Book today I’m going to share with you why I think audiobooks are great.
As someone so used to reading, it took me quite a while to get the hang of concentrating audibly rather than visually. Also, I admit it, I was a complete snob for a while there. I couldn’t fully understand why someone would listen to audiobooks when they could be reading. Well, life changed and I went from commuting for 2-3 hours a day on the train to driving for that amount of time instead. I hated losing that reading time but audiobooks have filled it perfectly.
Audiobooks won’t ever replace a physical book for me but here are ten reasons that I still think they’re great.
Top ten reasons why you should listen to audiobooks
1) Truly talented narrators help you to visualise stories in an entirely new way.
I had to teach myself to listen to audiobooks, to stop my mind from wandering away every few minutes. To help with this, I started by listening to audiobooks of stories I already knew a lot about or had read already. This led to Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book; a children’s book I’d really enjoyed reading but with Gaiman’s narration (he reads it himself) it exploded to a new level of life. This has become one of my favourite audiobooks of all time.
Another mast of audiobooks is Stephen Fry. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy the Harry Potter series, or you want to introduce it to a new generation, then I can highly recommend the audiobook versions that he narrates.
2) You can listen to audiobooks anywhere.
Yes, I know that seems obvious, but audiobooks can add some fun to the dullest times in life. When you’re stuck in tedious rush hour traffic, hanging out washing, getting yourself ready for work in the morning or even doing some dreaded DIY. You’ll find a lot of business blogs recommend audiobooks to improve productivity so make the most of your spare time. You don’t have to listen to fiction, you could learn another language or listen to inspiring true-life stories.
3) Audiobooks can open up a world of stories to people with a number of disabilities.
Dyslexia, visual impairments, muscle degeneration in the hands and many other disabilities can have a huge impact on whether someone can read a physical book. Audiobooks can help so many people keep in touch with their love of storytelling.
4) Audiobooks are great space savers.
I’ve tried and failed with the ‘one book in, one book out’ rule and there’s only so much space in my home to fill with books (they’re already in my car, in the loft, under the bed and overflowing from bookshelves in every room). I’ve done away with all but a handful of CDs and DVDs (for sentimental reasons more than anything) and although I have no plans to get rid of my books, audio means you can squeeze loads more into your collection without having to invest in yet another Billy bookcase.
Whispersync is a fantastic piece of technology that’s available through Amazon-owned Audible and Kindle. If you’re addicted to an ebook but life gets in the way and you have to stop reading, then you can use Whispersync to swap over to the audiobook and vice versa, without ever losing your place. Kindle encourage this by often offering the audiobook at a discounted rate after you buy the ebook so keep your eye out for a deal next time to buy a digital book.
6) Audiobooks keep you healthy – I know, a big claim but here’s some science for you.
Recent research by Fereshteh Ameri, Naser Vazifeshenas, and Abbas Haghparast investigated the effects of audiobooks on the mental health of an elderly community of Retirement Center of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. 60 elderly people participated in 8 audiobook presentation sessions, and their mental health aspects were evaluated. They found ‘a significant improvement in mental health and its dimensions have observed in elderly people participated in audiobook sessions. This was effective on mental health dimensions of paranoid ideation, psychosis, phobia, aggression, depression, interpersonal sensitivity, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and somatic complaints.’ Anything as simple as audiobooks that can help with anxiety and increase ‘interpersonal sensitivity’ should be embraced.
7) Bedtime listening over bedtime reading.
There are two awkward things about reading in bed. a) It keeps me awake because I always want to read one more chapter b) It can be difficult if your partner wants it dark enough to sleep but you want it light enough to read. You can cut these problems out altogether by setting a time on your audiobook app (so it doesn’t play the entire thing and you lose your place) and listen to great stories in the dark. It’s better for a good night’s sleep too.
8) Book bingeing
I’m a story addict, I know it and I admit it. Give me anything in a story format and you’ll have my attention and I’m more likely to remember it too. Adding audiobooks to my daily routine has definitely increased the number of books I can devour on an annual basis. It helps me keep up-to-date with new releases as well as putting a little dent into my older TBR (to be read) pile.
Two of my favourite books of all time are The Goldfinch by Donna Tart and Until I Find You by John Irving. Anyone that knows these books, will instantly realise what they have in common; they’re bloody huge. I’m talking ‘kill an intruder by hitting them in the head’ or ‘put one on each end of a pole and practice weightlifting’ huge. Even though I love larger books, I’m often put off reading them simply because of their size. I’m reading a large hardback at the moment and it isn’t great for reading on the train or lugging it about in my handbag just in case I get a few minutes spare. Audiobooks do away with this completely. Even Alan Moore’s million-word book, Jerusalem, can be on your phone and fit in your back pocket.
In a world where there are at least fifty things you should have gotten done by yesterday, it can be really hard to turn off and relax. There’s a reason we read to children before bedtime and that’s because it’s incredibly relaxing. Nothing about this changes as we get older, we just fall out of the habit. Well, there’s no better time than now to lay back, zone out and lose yourself in another life, another country or another world completely.
There you have it, my top ten reasons you should be listening to audiobooks. If you’re already an audiobook fan then let me know your favourites in the comments below.
If you want more on audiobooks, check out my review for the audiobook of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami.