Book Reviews

Audiobooks are Saving My Reading

Five years ago, I would have scoffed at you if you tried to get me to read anything other than a physical book. Kindle? No thank you. Audiobooks? Buzz off.

But fast forward to now and I read books on my kindle/tablet/phone just as often as I read physical books. I also listen to my books just as often as I actually read them.

In 2020, I spent a lot of time listening to books. More than a third of my 72 books read for audio. My daily commute to and from work is about an hour total, and I spend the entire time listening. I listen sometimes when I’m doing the dishes, or outside doing yard work. I listen when I’m bored, or when I’m having trouble sleeping but not quite awake enough to move my eyes across a page.

2020 was a hard year in many ways, but audiobooks helped me keep my sanity.

I found it hard to physically read this past year. I couldn’t just sit down and focus my brain long enough to absorb the words on the page. Listening is easier.

I started listening to audiobooks back in 2017. I still remember the first audiobook I listened too: it was The Martian by Andy Weir. I picked this one for two reasons 1) it was on sale on audible and 2) I had recently seen the movie. My logic was “I’ll never be able to follow the story properly by listening to it, but at least since I’ve seen the movie I’ll have a basic understand of what’s happening.” I also figured that if there was a relatively small cast of characters, it would be easier to follow.

What happened though was this: I got sucked into the world of Mark Watney, desperately wondering if he was ever going to make it off of Mars (which makes no sense, I JUST WATCHED THE MOVIE I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS). I couldn’t wait until the next time I could listen, longed for the moments I would be driving, because I knew it meant completely uninterrupted listening time.

I was hooked. Since then I’ve listened to over 600 hours of books, and I’ve never once felt like I wasn’t “reading”. Even though I fully believe listening counts as reading, I’ve noticed a major difference in listening vs reading. There’s different aspects of the books that I’m drawn too when I listen, and certain genres that I gravitate towards depending on the format.

Nowadays, I binge entire series on audible, but I’ve also started listening to books I already own recently. I’ve realized that by reading and buying books AND reading and listening to books, I’ll never ever get through my TBR pile. So I’ve started using Hoopla to rent books from my local library. It’s been a serious game changer in my reading habits. I never realized before how nice it is to easily switch between listening and physically reading. I can listen to a book on my way home from work, and then sit down and actually read it at night.

I don’t think I would have made it through 2020 without audiobooks, and I don’t think I’ll ever make it through my TBR pile without them either, so this is my thank you letter to audiobooks.

Thank you, for being just as valid of a form as reading, and thank you for saving my reading.

1 thought on “Audiobooks are Saving My Reading”

  1. I’m listening to a LOT more audiobooks due to COVID. I no longer get to read a physical book during my commute, because I’m working remotely now. But I am cooking a whole lot more, and Audible gets me through all the boring housework like a champ. Chop vegetables? No problem, I’ll turn on my book and it becomes a pleasant introverted activity. Ditto for laundry, cleaning floors, dusting, etc. Audible is saving my sanity.

    Liked by 1 person

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