How Audiobooks Changed My Reading

Hey, y’all! It’s been a minute, and school has been eating me alive. I decided to take two eight week courses which made the first eight weeks of the semester the busiest weeks ever. Throughout this time, my reading was basically nonexistent. I was pushing about one book a month, if that. Let’s just say that the college coursework was on thick for the majority of August and all of September. I did pick up a new way to consume my books during this busy period though: I hopped on the audiobook train.

I’m not sure why, but for a few years I was convinced that audiobooks were not for me. I briefly attempted them for some of my assigned readings in high school to promote multitasking, but I never went beyond that. This past summer, I got a library card in my town and the world of online e-audiobooks has changed my reading forever. I first listened to Kulti by Mariana Zapata, an excruciatingly long slow-burn romance, that I probably couldn’t have physically read all the way through without setting it down. I then went on to listen to more of MZ’s slow-burn romances and my life was changed to say the least. It felt great to be able to engage in my nightly routine, and feel productive listening to a book. It was heaven. I also was able to drive on the highway and listen to the qualms of the couple I was rooting for in whatever romance I was consuming at the time. Since then, I’ve gone on to listen to The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (a delightful re-read), Something About You by Julie James (a hate to love romance between an FBI agent and an attorney), and Ice Plant Barbarians (an alien paranormal romance. We read it all here on City of Deja). I’ve yet to listen to a fantasy novel all the way through (I’ve started and never finished a ton of audiobooks since getting  library card), but for the most part I’ve been loving nearly every audiobook that I’ve listened to. And I couldn’t help but stop and wonder why that was.

I thought about how listening to a book in the way that an author wants you to is different than reading it in your own voice. When I’m reading the words in my head, the interpretation is different, and the voice inflections usually aren’t there. When I’m listening to audiobook, it usually takes me a while to really adjust to the narrator’s voice. But once I did, it was smooth sailing. I got so comfortable with audiobooks that I wasn’t sure if reading a book physically would do it for me anymore. Now, I acknowledge that this is a very dramatic statement to make, but it did cross my mind. I attempted to start a few of the e-books I had on my phone, but could not stay focused on them like I could when I was listening to an audiobook and folding my laundry. I realize now that this could have been because I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing anything besides reading. Reading with my eyes felt like a luxury that I didn’t have at the time. I’m currently reading (and devouring) Elle Kennedy’s latest release, The Play, as an e-book and I’m having no problems at all. So, obviously, this concern didn’t last too long.

I also thought about how for the most part, I’ve loved all the audiobooks I’ve listened to. Maybe it’s because it takes a lot of dedication to just sit and listen to something, and it feels different than turning the pages yourself. I guess I’d like to think that the book was worth the listen in the end, or else it feels like I wasted a pretty hefty amount of hours. I’m really excited to listen to more audiobooks and I’d love to know your thoughts on them.

Until next time.


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