How Audiobooks Have Changed My Life

Discussion Post


Up until about six months ago, I have to admit that I was a full-fledged audiobook-hater. And I didn’t even have anything to back it up! I’d never tried it before, but I assumed that it could never be something that I might enjoy. I’m horrible at audial comprehension, so how would an audiobook ever work for me? I’d never be able to concentrate on the words, and my reading retention would be virtually nonexistent. But I was wrong.

After living my whole life assuming these things, my friend Laura, after months of talking about how much she loves audiobooks and begging me to try one, finally convinced me to just go for it. What was there to lose? If I hated it, so what?

So I signed up for the free trial of Audible and picked out a book. I chose The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I thought it might help if I chose something that I was really looking forward to read, from a favorite author of mine. I already knew that I’d like the book…now I just had to pop on the headphones and listen to the damn thing.

And…I loved it.

Ever since then, audiobooks have become my new best friends. I listen to them while driving, working (when I can), cooking, cleaning, you name it! So far, I’ve listened to twelve audiobooks, and I’ve liked pretty much all of them!

The only caveat is that I’ve discovered that I’m not a good audiobook candidate for books that are longer than 400 pages. That’s just too long for me to listen to a book. I start to get bored and my mind wanders, so I choose to read the physical copies of those ones instead. But everything else is fair game! My favorite audiobooks to listen to are the Detective D.D. Warren series by Lisa Gardner. So far, I’m on the third one and I’ve listened to them all on audiobook…I love it! The narrators are so good, and listening to them vs. reading them makes the mystery just that much more intense.

Since my introduction to audiobooks, I’ve also discovered that, while I love the Audible site and iPhone app, their membership too expensive for me. So I get all of my audiobooks free from the library and upload them onto my computer (then onto my phone) instead. My library happens to have a great selection, but I know that not everybody’s does. Audible is a good secondary option, and in addition, Coffee Bean Bookshelf has a GREAT post in which she details all of the options for where to get audiobooks.


Have you ever listened to an audiobook? Do you like them? If you haven’t…why not? What’s your favorite thing to do while listening to an audiobook?




19 responses to “How Audiobooks Have Changed My Life

  1. Yay!! I’m so glad that you gave audiobooks a try and that you ended up liking them! I’d love to know about how all your initial concerns weren’t really an issue after all.

    Unlike you, I tend to enjoy audiobooks that are longer than 400 pages. It’s basically the only way I made it through the Wheel of Time series (even as much as I love it, it’s hard to read on paper!). I’m so used to the super long ones — 35+ hours — that when I read a YA audiobook that’s like 10 hours long it feels like I finish it so quick, lol!

    • Well the biggest thing I was worried about was audial comprehension and, for some reason, it just didn’t end up being a problem! I have no idea why…I guess I’m just better at multi-tasking than I thought. At least with audiobooks, haha.

      Wow, good for you! I guess I just get sick of listening to the SAME book for so long. Not like I’m not interested in the book, but it just feels weird to be “reading” the same thing for so long. And the last few times I tried it, I ended up losing interest and that was disappointing. I guess I just feel “safer” going with shorter books.

  2. I’m REALLY picky with audiobooks. I prefer British narrators and often (but not always) authors suck at reading their own books. Philip Pullman is an extraordinary exception. His audiobooks for His Dark Materials are AMAZEBALLS! I love full casts as well. Often I’ll listen to an audiobook that’s so good I’ll be unable to listen to anything else for months.

    • Wow…audiobook hangover, haha. I like it when there’s a full cast as well. Right now I’m listening to one with three different narrators and I’m really, really liking it. I definitely don’t prefer British narrators, though. Well, I guess I’ve actually never listened to an audiobook with a British narrator, haha. But I’m not a huge fan of accents in general (I know, it’s weird, I don’t really know why haha), so I don’t think that I’d like it.

  3. I tried audiobooks the first time because I was going on a long drive by myself and was SO tired of listening to the same songs on the radio. I didn’t think I would like it so I picked a short one (The Perks of Being a Wallflower…around 4 hours, which was the length of the trip, one way). I was SO surprised when I loved it, and I haven’t turned back since.

    I hope that more people give them a chance instead of hating on them (like me…and you). Even if it’s not for them, at least they have a basis for not liking the format. But it could be something that really works for them!

    I tend to avoid the longer audiobooks…I will buy them and then keep pushing them further down the to-listen-to list (wow, that’s a mouthful) because I don’t want to commit to listening to it for weeks on end. Once I start, though, I don’t have a problem paying attention.

    Great discussion! 🙂

    • Yeah, I’m definitely a huge pusher of audiobooks now. Everybody should at least try them once! After going through such a huge change of mindset about it, I’m trying to get more people to see if they will change their minds, too. Glad to know I’m not the only one who avoids long ones! Although I’m jealous that you seem to do better with them once you actually start. Maybe I’m just picking the WRONG long audiobooks, haha. Thanks for your long and thoughtful comment! 🙂

  4. I used to listen to audiobooks a lot when my boyfriend and I were dating long-distance; they would entertain me on the 2-hour drive to visit him. It was really nice in that I got to experiment more than I usually do in my reading; since I was listening just to fill time, I could listen to things I was interested in but not interested in enough to spend my “reading time” on, in case I didn’t like it. It’s so much easier to DNF an audiobook that’s not working for me, for some reason.

    I highly recommend Tina Fey’s book on audio; she reads it herself, and it is so great to sit and listen to her talk about her life!

    • Ooh I didn’t know that Tina Fey narrates her book! I’ve already read it, otherwise I would definitely check out the audiobook; it sounds really cool. But I’d definitely be interested in author-narrated audiobooks in the future…I’ve never listened to one of those before. I have a 45-minute commute each way to work, so like you, I make use of that time by listening to my audiobooks then. It makes the time go by so much faster! Sometimes I’ll switch it up and listen to music, but right now I’m really into the audiobook that reading, so I’m listening to it every chance I get!

    • Haha aww that sucks 😦 I get it, though. I’m surprised that I don’t feel the same way as you, actually. Ugh I tried listening to American Gods, too, and it was awful. I had to switch to the physical copy of that one to get through it, and it still took me forever and I ended up giving it a pretty low rating. That was the book that made me go, “No, I’m not doing long audiobooks anymore,” haha.

  5. I’ve tried listening to audiobooks before and the only way I can concentrate on them is if I follow along while reading the words on a physical copy. Which kind of defeats the purpose of the audiobook haha. I just get distracted way too easily, or get lulled by the voice and fall asleep. Even if I sit in a chair or in the car to listen, I start thinking about something else in my mind and miss whole chunks of the book. So yeah, unfortunately, I don’t think audiobooks are for me haha

  6. Audiobooks are wonderful! They allow us to do things we have to do while still engaging with books. I used to listen to them all the time last year when I still lived in the dorms on campus. Whenever I was cleaning my room, washing my laundry, etc, I’d listen to audiobooks. Or in the evenings when I found I had nothing much left to do but wanted to rest my eyes. Other than that, bus rides which are longer than half-an-hour are also times I listen to them because I suffer from slight motion sickness, so I can’t actually read a physical book without getting queasy or developing headaches.

    I’m so glad you gave them a chance! I think they’re another good way to develop our minds. Apparently audiobooks also help kids develop better attention spans, so I’m glad this is something my parents did right with me whenever we were on long drives of up to 8 hours. Definitely kept my sister and me entertained back then.

  7. Haha, what timing! 😀 My post about audiobooks is scheduled for tomorrow, haha! I have the same feelings about them. I used to not like them at all, then I really ended up loving them! 🙂

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  10. Yay and welcome 🙂 I love audiobooks, and I think the trick is to find what works for you. Non-fiction doesn’t really do it for me, but a fast paced YA book does it everytime. I give each audiobook about 10 minutes, and if I’m not into it, I move on. And I get mine from the library too.

    • Thanks for the comment! Yeah I definitely don’t think I’d be able to listen to a nonfiction audiobook either. I think I’ve only listened to one YA audiobook before, though. I’m not sure why, since it’s 90% of what I read. Maybe because I like reading physical copies the best, so I want to save my favorites for that? haha I don’t know. But now that you mention it, I think I might try one next time 🙂

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