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On Audiobooks


Audiobooks might be one of the most strangely divisive issues in the book community. The answer seems obvious, but every few months someone ignites the "Is listening to audiobooks reading?" conversation all over again, and, as people on Twitter do, they argue. Obviously, audiobooks should count as reading as you are consuming words and building pictures in your mind and absorbing information.
That's not really the point though. I wanted to talk about audiobooks today and the possibilities they unlock as well as their advantages when incorporating them into your regular reading routine. Personally, I go in and out with how often I listen to audiobooks. There's nothing I love more than being read to (probably stemming from how much my mom read to me as a kid), but the narrator can make or break an audiobook for me, so I'm very picky. I also listen to tons of music and podcasts so I find it hard to find the time to squeeze in audiobooks. I've found my ultimate audiobook situation is listening on a plane. I don't love watching movies because it always feels like you're watching at an awkward angle. I also find it hard to fully concentrate on a book with all the excess noise. With audiobooks, I feel like I can totally close my eyes, cancel the noise, and enjoy the story.
I tend to chose my audiobooks based on what I wouldn't read normally. I pick a lot of autobiographies or other books read by the author because those usually have more animation and offer the truest experience of being told a personal story. With fiction, I feel like some of the fiction audiobooks I've listened to don't live up to the experience I have reading paper books, but biographies tend to come to life far easier when the person who experienced the story is telling me about it. I'm going to leave some recommendations at the end of the post and the criteria there is heavily based on the narrator. Everyone has different preferences in that sense, so I highly recommend that you sample the book first to make sure you don't clash with the person you'll have to listen to for the next ten to thirteen or so hours.
Like I mentioned earlier, I find audiobooks are a great place to experiment with genres you wouldn't gravitate towards otherwise. Narrators can bring more life to things, but it also just takes less commitment to start playing an audiobook as you don't have to keep your eyes glued to the page. This also makes them a great way to get more books on your TBR finished or to knock out school assigned reading quickly. Most classics I have to read for school, I get on audio and listen to them at 1.5x or 2.0x speed to get through them faster while being able to multitask. While I find it hard to do a lot of activities with an audiobook on and accomplish the task while still catching the details of the story, something like cleaning the kitchen, exercising, or driving are the perfect times to rack up extra chapters for your daily reading tally.
My final reason I love audiobooks and recommend everyone try them out is that it can be a gateway to read especially for people with certain disabilities or learning differences. For people with dyslexia or even people who are just auditory learners, audiobooks can be much easier to absorb than print books. It also takes the daunting part out of reading for reluctant readers as most of us are used to listening to people talk. It allows the story to take center stage and might enable someone to realize that they do enjoy reading. While they're certainly not for everyone, they're not to be written off. From subscription platforms like Audible to free access through library services like Hoopla, it's easier than ever to give them a try and keep a book with you at all times.

Favorite Audiobooks 
YA 
Struck by Lightning

Autobiography
Stay Sexy, Don't Get Murdered

Middle Grade 
The Land of Stories Complete Series 
Alice's Adventure In Wonderland

Current Listen: Open Book by Jessica Simpson

Links of Interest:
Layoverland Review
Into YA with Hannah Capin
Should Books Be Adapted
How Not to Die

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