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No Time to Read? Audiobooks are Just as Good

Woman curled up in an overstuffed chair listening to an audiobook

If you’re an avid lover of books, but your life is too busy to sit down and delve into a good story, we’ve got just the solution. We’re here to tell you that listening to a story can be just as rewarding as reading it.

Even though some people view listening to audiobooks as a way of “cheating,” we say go for it. Entertainment is entertainment. If you want to get whisked away into another world, it doesn’t matter if you read it or hear it.

The Joy of Storytelling

When you think about it, humans have been story-telling for centuries, way back in the day when cave dwellers gathered around campfires to tell epic stories and tales. This was our primary way of sharing before the written word. So there’s still a part of our brain that is intrigued, engaged, and entertained by “hearing” instead of “reading” exciting stories.

Plus listening to a story brings us back to our childhood when we were read to regularly. You also get a better sense of the character’s sarcasm, tone, mood, and so forth when you hear a voice telling the story, instead of reading it by yourself.

Audiobooks and Comprehension

One study found that there was no significant difference between story comprehension when participants listened to a story versus reading it.

There’s no practical difference between reading and hearing most content, so listen to your books guilt free.

Some experts argue that some material is harder to absorb when listening to it on-the-go, such as your final exam material or work preparation stuff. But when it comes to fun reading, it doesn’t matter. If your main goal is to fight the boredom blues, put aside any guilt you might have about not actually reading every word and just enjoy.

How to Fit Audiobooks into Your Daily Routine

Audiobooks are great because you don’t have to wait for some “downtime” to delve into a story. You can take the story with you wherever your day takes you. Here are some great ideas to start including audiobooks into your routine.

  • Commuting and long drives: Do you have a long, boring commute? Whether you’re on a train, bus, or driving, you can play that audiobook. Hopefully, the audiobook will make you a more calm driver, not worrying so much if you arrive on time since you want to hear what happens next.
  • Housecleaning: Who says scrubbing the bathtub has to be boring? Turn on a new audiobook and make chores a whole new experience.
  • Waiting for your kids: If you wait on your kids during weekly lessons, why not put on your headphones and listen to a compelling story?
  • Appointments: Instead of flipping through a boring magazine in the doctor’s waiting room, listen to the next chapter in your audiobook.

When you think about all the time during the day where you’re listening to music, not listening to anything, or goofing around on your phone, you’ll see there’s lots of time to fit in some audiobook listening.

How to Access Audiobooks

If you don’t know how to get started with audiobooks, we’re here to help!

For a dead-simple way to get audiobooks, you can always use the default service for your mobile platform. You can buy and download audiobooks with your iPhone, iPad, or iPad touch by using Apple Books. Android users can purchase and download audiobooks by using Google Play Books.

You can also find audiobooks using Audible—if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription you get access to thousands of free Audible audiobooks. There’s also the good old’ public library; you can tap into a vast number of free audiobooks with the Libby app on your phone.

Then invest in a good pair of headphones, or sync your device with your car’s Bluetooth, and you’re on your way.

If you need some ideas to get started, you can’t go wrong with the New York Time’s bestseller list for fiction and non-fiction audiobooks.

In the end, it doesn’t matter that you’re not actually reading these books. You’re still discovering new stories, interesting characters, and getting whisked away into entertaining worlds. And that stack of books on your dresser will get read, eventually. In the meantime, nobody will judge you for listening to audiobooks instead (we surely won’t).

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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