In Which I No Longer Hate Audiobooks

My Reading Life Has Changed (for the Better!)

POSTED ON January 8, 2019 BY Austine IN Discussion

Photo of a pair of headphones and an audiobook of My American Duchess with the text 4 Reasons I Don't Hate Audiobooks Anymore, a NovelKnight Book Reviews Discussion.

This past weekend, I became frustrated with my reading life.

Or lack thereof. The vast majority of my day is spent doing things that don’t allow me to simultaneously read. I’ve gone from finishing 200 books a year to barely making half that. And while 100 books in a year is still a respectable number, I know I’ve done better.

I Googled ways to get more reading in and most of the methods I already employ with the exception of one:

audiobooks

For the longest time I’ve hated being read to. It worked when I was very young but since I learned to read on my own, I haven’t been a fan. I’m a faster reader with print so the pacing of audiobooks quickly becomes frustrating. And it’s just not the same.

For the record, I’m not de-valuing reading with audiobooks. It is reading as much as picking up a book or eReader. This is more a personal preference.

But I wanted to get back to reading more, taking advantage of all the times I could be reading but it’s just not physically possible to have the book in front of me. So I got on Audible, started the free 30-day trial, and picked up my first audiobook since high school (and I didn’t have a choice with that one).

Well.

It’s been a few days. . . and I’ve read/listened to a book a day.

I can read wherever I go

Whether I’m driving to/from work or cleaning in the house, I can read a book when otherwise I’d just listen to music or a movie, something that doesn’t require holding a book. There is SO MUCH TIME in a day that I realized is potential reading time. HOURS of time that I can now use for reading.

Libraries are even more amazing

Thank goodness for OverDrive/Libby. I’ve taken advantage of my library’s eBook collection in the past but I never thought to look into their audiobooks. While they don’t have a TON of stuff (severely underfunded and whatnot) there are still a number of my favorites I’ve started re-reading through audio, as well as a few books I don’t think I would have read otherwise. And it’s free (always helpful)! I’m looking into applying to some of the other in-state libraries that offer non-resident cards to access more materials as well!

I’m enjoying reading again

I don’t have to think about it. I just plug in a book and go about whatever I need to get done while it plays. It doesn’t feel like a chore to get through a book and review it. I’m still reviewing the audiobooks I listen to, but for some reason the actual act of reading/listening seems less involved. And because I’m reading more in general, which makes me happy, my general reading life has already drastically improved.

For the first time in YEARS, I’m ahead of my Goodreads reading goal. I’ve read more backlist books in the last week or so than I did in MONTHS last year. And I’m enjoying what I read more. So far there’s only been one book that was so-so but I liked reading it (the content is where it got a bit iffy).

In short, audiobooks have transformed my reading.

Reading through my TBR seems. . . achievable

I own over a thousand unread books.

Yes you read that right. I blame Book Outlet and my own lack of self control. There are SO MANY books I want to read and when I see them on sale, usually cheaper than the eBook even, I snag them quick. Then they pile up and I end up reading other books for review or just general excitement. And now I’m in this TBR rut. But audiobooks are helping. I’ve read a few off my backlist TBR already that I can now take off my TBR! Not every book has an audiobook but there are enough that I think I can make a relatively decent dent in my owned-and-unread list.

I don’t hate audiobooks anymore. I love them!

Just goes to show that your reading preferences can change over time. I didn’t read graphic novels and comics until the last year. I read more contemporary and other non-SFF genres. And now I listen to audiobooks. I’m a different reader than I was when I started blogging. . . and I like it.

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Have your reading preferences changed over the years?
Whether it’s the format, genre(s), or whatever else you can think of, has anything changed?


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12 responses to “In Which I No Longer Hate Audiobooks

    • Lol and that used to be my average. Some years I hit closer to 300. But add life and reviewing into the mix and that number tends to get smaller. Being a fast reader can have its perks haha

  1. I had such a similar story to you! I couldn’t understand audiobooks and was sure I wouldn’t like them. Then I tried and absolutely love them! I listen any time I can and it especially helps me get through the work day! Library apps are amazing, I have a couple of different ones and between them I find quite a lot of the books I want 🙂

  2. I wasn’t sure I would like audiobooks, either, but I started listening to them in the car during my work commute, and that’s been fun! Helps the ride go faster.

  3. My biggest issue with Audiobooks is the same is yours .. I’m a faster reader than the person reading the book! So to combat that, I usually reading two books at a time. One Audiobook for when I am doing other things like driving and one physical/ebook for when I actually have time to read! Tho I can’t believe you are listening to an audiobook a day! I usually only have time for an hour or so of listening a day!

    I know with Audible and Libby there is an option to turn up the reading speed. Have you tried that? I tried it once in the middle of a book and I hated it but if I had started at that speed from the beginning it might have been different? Then you could read even more books 😂😂

    • That’s what I do, have something going on audio and at least one book in print. And yes, I’ve sped up all the books I’ve listened to anywhere from 1.5-2X normal speed which helps a lot (and I get through books faster too)

  4. I’ve only listened to one audiobook, and I struggled with it. I don’t like the slow pace of an audiobook and when I put the speed up, I miss some of what’s being said. Hopefully I can start enjoying them though!

  5. I hate being read to, too and prefer printing. And I have not tried audiobook but reading your experiences made me want to try it since I my reading stats drop from 200 (2017) to 97 (2018). Thank you for sharing

  6. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

    I find it hard to focus on the book if I hear them. And as you said, just the amount of time I spend on hearing vs reading it seems crazy. I just hope I will come to terms with audiobooks and will start using them more.

    • I never expected to like or even be able to understand audiobooks. I was born profoundly Deaf, and back then the technology with hearing aids and implants was….iffy at best. Flash forward to 2016 many of my friends from Gallaudet were raving over the what was the new Advanced Bionic implant. I got jealous. I really wanted to be able to hear the music. So I made my self an appt with the implant people an after failing 6 tests they said I was eligible BUT not to get my hopes up too high as I never had the experience of actually hearing and at 35 was a bit late to learn how to listen. I did all the audio rehabilitation, and one day I was attempting to understand the audiobook and lo and behold it like my brain finally fired the correct neurons, and I could appreciate it! EVERYONE was soo shocked. Ever since that day I have listened to a LOT of audiobooks.

      • Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

        Wow that is an interesting. I will give them a try or two soon and I will remember you when I do!