Friday, November 19, 2021

The unexpected benefits of audiobooks

This year, my challenge on Goodreads was to read 50 books. I've surpassed that, mostly because I've added audiobooks to my reading experience in the last few years.  

Listening to audiobooks allows me to expand not only the number of books I enjoy but also the places in which I enjoy them. I listen to books while driving, exercising, cooking, or when I'm out for a good long walk. Time passes quickly when someone is telling me a story, and that's exactly how I perceive a well narrated audiobook.

My library system's Overdrive and Libby accounts give me access to thousands of great titles to download and enjoy for free. Courtesy of a friend, I've recently added Audible to my audiobook source list. The number of stories I can listen to boggles my mind. 

When I read books in print or ebook, I have a (guilty!) tendency to skim past wordy descriptions and long unbroken blocks of text. An audiobook doesn't let the reader do that. The narrator progresses through the text word by word, paragraph by paragraph, even parts I would have chosen to skim.

And guess what? I've learned that those wordy sections are (usually) there for a reason. They add to the setting, reveal a bit of character, or define the underlying reason for a conflict. Just what this girl needed to slow down her mind and enjoy the journey through the story. 

That said, I don't I have a favorite format for reading. I still love bookstore browsing and reading a hard copy I can hold in my hands. I also love my Kindle for its lightweight convenience and portability. But now about half of the books I read per year are ones I've accessed as audiobooks. I've found it to be a great option with its own benefit to me as a reader.

How about you? Do you listen to audiobooks? 

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