5 Reasons to Love the Audiobook!
I have fallen in love with the audiobook! It’s a wonderful new take on the old oral traditions of storytelling, and it’s convenient to boot! For me they evoke nostalgia, uncover different elements of the storytelling art, let me ‘read’ non-stop for hours on end while multitasking, and help me keep to my sleeping schedule despite being in the seductive grip of an un-put-downable tale. Here’s 5 reasons you should try audiobooks if you haven’t already!
1. It’s so nostalgic! Anybody else make their parents read to them every single night?
My dad still knows the picture book I Saw it in the Sea by heart, and my mother read the entirety of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to me after I saw The Fellowship of the Ring at age 9. There’s something soothing and communal about hearing stories read aloud, and I know it’s a big part of the reason I became such a bookworm! Audiobooks have a similar effect. The voice of the narrator can really change the telling of a story. Sometimes you don’t even realise that the narration can be brought to life so evocatively until someone reads it aloud. But that’s point number two!
2. Audiobooks offer a different sort of engagement- the voice acting reintroduces the voice to storytelling.
In general people stop listening to stories read aloud or narrated after a certain age, and while it’s fun to be able to read by yourself with only your own thought-voice to express the dialogue, it’s also great fun to hear the work of professional voice actors, bringing characters to life with their impressively versatile voices. I’ve listened to a number of audiobooks where one female voice actor put on more than 10 different voices for different characters, of all ages, genders, and even some robots! I’m really enjoying the work of Kate Reading (apt name, don’t you think?) in her narration of Lindsay Buroker’s Fallen Empire series. She brings out wonderful, diverse personalities in all of the characters of the series.
3. You can listen everywhere!
What I love most about it is that I don’t have to pause the story to do things. When I’m really immersed in a tale, I can put in my earphones the moment I wake up and listen while I eat breakfast, get ready for work, drive to work, and even at work while I’m designing. Audiobooks are a hands and eyes free way to enjoy stories, and I love it! But I do recommend you take some breaks, you know, talk to real people and make sure you get everything done!
4. New ways to engage with old favourites!
I got into audiobooks by listening to books I already know and love. It’s so interesting to hear your favourite characters voiced in new ways, and always funny when you realise you’ve been pronouncing things wrong in your head for years. Listening to someone describe a landscape, a character, or a feeling can be even more evocative than reading the words yourself and it can completely reinvigorate your favourite worlds.
5. It’s good for your eyes and makes it easy to fall asleep.
I know I’m not the only one who used to read into the wee hours and then have to go to school or work, squinting and headachey! With audiobooks you can close your eyes and let the story unfold, and if you use Audible, like me, there’s a sleep timer feature that lets you decide when the app should automatically stop. Your options are 15, 30, or 60 minutes, or alternatively at the end of the current chapter or book part. I find I’m always telling myself “I’ll go to sleep at the end of this chapter” but I can’t help myself and often read on. With the sleep timer, you can set it when you’re thinking straight, and the silence at the end of the timer is a good jolt to your brain, saying “sleep now, or regret it in the morning!”
And therefore I wholeheartedly recommend trying it! Have I convinced you? Have you already tried them? What was your experience of audiobooks? Tell us in the comments!
Melissa is a genre-junkie, graphic designer, and illustrator. She’s a firm believer in the power of imagination and creativity, and loves getting parcels in the mail. She’s super keen to send happy little bookcases to excited binge-readers like herself. You can find her illustrations on most social media and Etsy @TheLittleInkery