Have You Been Converted to Audiobooks Yet?

In the past year or so I’ve become a devout audiobook listener. I know some of you will think I’m waaaaay behind the curve, but I also know that some of you are probably still not believers yet. Let me tell you; I wasn’t a believer at first either. I associated audiobooks with boring childhood road trips and/or being too lazy to read. That bias had me seriously missing out.

I can’t do without my audiobooks now. I really can’t! I did get into them because of road trips – and they’re truly wonderful that; 14 hours won’t ever go by so quickly – but now I listen while I’m folding laundry, getting ready for bed, driving around town, going on walks, cleaning, and even during my lunch break. I feel like I almost double my available “reading” time, because now I can consume books when I’d never otherwise be able to. Hands free!

One of the most common reasons I’ve heard people express reluctance to get into them is a bad experience. Truly, the book you choose makes all the difference. A bad narrator will make any book miserable, and some books simply aren’t predisposed to good listening. I’ve found that complex, literary works are harder to concentrate on and follow aloud, so now I use audio for more of my leisure reads. Things that are fast-paced and/or funny are particularly fun, although I will say that there’s value to hearing exquisitely-written prose aloud too.

Another hesitation is price. Audiobooks are expensive! They take tons and tons of production hours, so it makes sense, but who has $30 to spend on every book? There are several alternatives. First of all, most public libraries provide audio rentals for free! Nowadays there are even temporary downloads, so you don’t even have to go pick it up in person or deal with CD swapping; you just get it on your phone. Library rentals are a great option for newbs who aren’t sure yet if they want to commit to audiobooks.

The option I’ve ended up with – and am madly in love with – is Audible. It’s a subset of Amazon devoted solely to audiobooks. Since it’s subscription style, you can pay for either one ($14.95) or two ($22.95) books a month, and any additional buys you make are 30% off. You also get access to tons of great free podcast subscriptions that include everything from short stories to comedy bits, and Audible runs daily deals for members that put specific books on sale for $2.99 each. The subscription prices drop even lower if you pay annually instead of monthly, so if you actually listen to the books, Audible is well worth the value.

If you do decide to give Audible a try, please use my referral links: get a free trial or subscribe to a gold membership! I’ll get a small amount of money and it won’t cost any extra for you. For everyone, your first month and two books are free, and you keep your books forever even if you cancel your membership. You can always cancel (or even pause) at any time, and if you ever get a dud narrator or crummy book, you can return it.

Another cool feature that Audible has is called Whispersync. I haven’t tried it yet, but if you buy a (discounted) ebook version of the same thing in audio, you can go back and forth between listening and reading and it’s supposed to save your spot. Has anyone tried it? It sounds too good to be true!

And to get you started – whether you check them out at your library, use your free trial, or subscribe through Audible – here are the four best audiobooks I’ve listened to so far:

I do get referral credit if you click through any of those books, too! (And I promise that’s not why I’m recommending Audible; I really do love it.) If nothing else you should do a free trial and listen to two of these amazing books for free. 🙂 I’ve posted raves about Beloved and Bird Box. I also have one about Gone Girl, but Flynn’s Sharp Objects is even better. And A Head Full of Ghosts was so good that I’m now reading a second book by Tremblay.

So, have you converted to audiobooks yet? Do you use Audible, the library, or something else? Recommendations for great listens are welcome!

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