There are 3 ways we as humans learn things visually, kinesthetically, and auditorily. Everyone differs in what works best for them. Sometimes its one specifically or a combination of styles. For me I’ve always processed information audibly. When I was younger I had passion for reading. Be it for school or personal reading pleasure I always seemed to have a book. As I began to grow & reading became a mandatory thing versus something I was doing in my own time I lost the capacity to read books. Novels, short stories, fiction or non-fiction it didn’t matter.
Even when the book really appealed to me I found myself to distracted to get through half the book let alone the entire story. Easily distracted I strived to find a method in which I could absorb information at a pace that made sense to me in a format that I enjoyed.
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Thats when I discovered audiobooks through a service known as Audible. Now prior to this service audiobooks have existed whether they were in tape or CD form but Audible made the process simple & appealing. I could listen on the web player, my phone, through my desktop etc. Audiobooks as the name describes are literally books narrated by a voice actor. Sometimes its professional voice talent, multiple voiceovers, or even the author themselves.
Audiobooks instantly appealed to me for various reasons. They made the story come to life & add a voice to the otherwise words on a page. I was able to focus more on the story & still continue with my daily activities. Listen to a book while working out, driving, or just working on mindless tasks. Now one can make the argument for multitasking but the idea that I didn’t have to have the physical book in front of me at all times while doing other things made it freeing & enjoyable again. The argument can be made for the very idea of books & their physical nature. I’ve never been one to support such claims as to me the medium doesn’t so much matter as long as your getting the same content. In that case it doesn’t matter if its audio, good ole paper & ink, or even an e-book version.
I signed up to Audible several years ago & have been a huge fan ever since. They offer several plans starting at $15 a month to subscribe to their service & get credit towards any book on their site. They were acquired by Amazon & have since tied into the online marketplaces vast selection of books/titles.
Furthermore here are some other reasons I’ve found audiobooks so much more enjoyable:
I can listen to a book much faster than I can personally sit down & read one. Having the ability to listen in almost any scenario during the day allows for more time to actually read the book. Yes I still say “read” as opposed to listen as its the same concept. Additionally the feature to increase the speed which the narration is read at allows you to literally take a 4 hour book for example & cut it down to 2 hours, the equivalent of increasing the words per minute you can read.
The ability to carry literally hundreds of titles on my iPhone at one time is much easier than packing multiple books. It’s ideal when traveling or for flights & whether your online or offline you can easily listen to your books. The app offers option to locally download or stream the book depending on your preferences.
While Audible isn’t the only audiobook service out there they offer super competitive rates when it comes to books. At a $15 subscription I can get any book whether its 2 or 24 hours long. Savings literally thousands on books over the course of my subscription.
Now thats not to say Audiobooks don’t have their drawbacks.
As opposed to a physical book you can’t really add notes or annotations to your audiobooks. Audible has a feature that attempts to let you add notes to certain bookmarks but it could be implemented much better.
While nowadays most new releases get the audiobook treatment there are some both new & old which don’t make their way to audiobook format or are sometimes delayed due to the time it takes to get a narration done.
Narrators do really set the tone for a audiobook. If you have one that speaks to slow or fast, has a heavy accent, or what have you it can make the experience differ. Luckily all books offer preview samples & in some cases multiple narrated versions to choose from.
Reading is something I wish I spent more time doing in the last couple of years. Coming into High School reading became more of a chore to me & something I did if only required. Reading however whatever you may genre you may fancy is something I find essential to my source of education. Business & self help books, fiction, memoirs & autobiographies, are just some of what I enjoy. Be it taking time away from work to sit & listen to a book or obsessively listening to books throughout the day the choice is yours. I encourage you if you struggle with reading physical books to find something your really interested in & attempt to try out the audio version. Listen in your spare time via your iDevice, the web players, through a variety of apps or services.
The ability to consume information at my own leisure whenever & however I want. Be it audiobooks, physical ones, or even a E-book is a privilege I don’t take for granted. With information so readily available at our fingertips we cannot but stand in awe of the variety of things that await us. It’s simply a matter of what medium is right for you.