Why you should be a fan of Audiobooks

Ellen Gregory is visiting today. She loves audiobooks and wants you to know why. Welcome Ellen!

Three reasons why audiobooks are awesome

The rise of the e-book over the past few years has sparked some fun discussions about the various merits of ‘tree’ versus ‘e’… But there’s a third format that doesn’t seem to get all that much airtime – the audiobook. I constantly hear people say how they need to ‘read’ a book, and can’t absorb the words or the story when they are forced to listen. While I daresay this is true for some people – we’re all wired differently after all – I’m willing to bet a large number have never actually tried listening to an audiobook. I’m here to tell you they’re awesome!

Here are three reasons why:

1. Audiobooks are essentially a performance and provide interpretation.
Some books, no matter how wonderful, are hard work to read. Listening to an audiobook read by a talented actor, who injects pauses and emphasis into the narrative, not to mention different accents etc for the dialogue of the various characters, brings a wealth of meaning and comprehension to many a novel – or indeed non-fiction.

I’ve listened to audiobooks of Possession (by A.S. Byatt), Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf), and The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins), where the nuanced reading greatly added to my enjoyment of the words and the story. In the case of comedy, a great reader adds to the humor! To this day, one of my favorites is Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination (Helen Fielding), and it’s probably at least half because of the fabulous reader.

2. Audiobooks allow multi-tasking.
Just think: now you can ‘read’ during your long commute to work, or while you’re working out… or cooking… or gardening… Audiobooks allow you to make use of all the dead time. I actually find myself smiling when I’m stuck in peak-hour traffic, because it means I get to listen to my book for a few minutes longer.

In fact, it was an audiobook that got me into the habit of walking to work on a regular basis, despite having to get out of bed half an hour earlier. I leapt out of bed, because as soon as I started walking, I’d get lost in a fabulous novel.

3. Audiobooks keep you an honest reader.
Not everyone skips about in books to see what happens out of sequence (and at the end), but I confess I do have a bad habit of doing this. But I can’t with an audiobook! (Unless I also have a written version.) There’s no skipping over any ‘boring’ scenes either. It’s all presented to you, word for beautiful word, just as the author intended for you to read it. I like knowing that I’ve experienced a book in its purest form.

Have I convinced you to try out audiobooks? If you’re already a fan, what are the reasons you like them?

Thanks Ellen! I can see why audiobooks have a place in my library.
Visit Ellen’s blog–here.