April 7, 2011

Why I Love Audio Books

Lately I've really really gotten into audio books.  It started about a year ago with the book The Dead and the Gone.  I had read Life as We Knew It and wanted the second book.  For Christmas I had gotten an iPod dock for my car, so it played through the speakers.  I thought I'd try out an audio book, and The Dead and the Gone was available from the library (which BTW is an awesome way to get audio books!).  I down loaded it and started listening to and from school with my kids. It was great!

We didn't really listen to another one until later.  Then the library in our town open in a new fantastic location.  My daughter wanted to check it out, so off we went.  While we were there I wandered over to the audio books and found Dandelion Fire.  It was a book I had been kind've wanting to read, so I convinced my daughter we should listen to it.  It worked great! You can read my review HERE

We then listened to The Red Pyramid on my daughter's insistence.  Again we loved it! You can read my review HERE.  After that we listened to The Book of Elsewhere #1 The Shadows.  It was after that one that I really realized why I like audio books. 

Here is why:

1.  I get to "read" more books.  My life is busy. I work full time.  I have 3 kids.  I blog.  I write.  Sometimes reading doesn't fit.  But hour to and from school with daycare drop off is perfect for listening.  Books I've wanted to get to are now more possible!

2.  It's exposing my 9 year old to more books.  He reads, but not like me or his sister.  He LOVES Calvin and Hobbes, and I credit Calvin and Hobbes with helping building his vocabulary and reading skills.  But he's not a novel reader.  If it has chapters, he doesn't want it.  I've found that even though he doesn't act like it, he's listening and enjoying the story as well.  My hope is that eventually he'll want to read them for himself.  Fingers crossed!!!

3.  It's bringing my kids and I together.  Instead of being in our own worlds during the morning drive, we laugh over the story, discuss what happened and what we think will happen.  We have "inside jokes" because of the stories we have listened to. I honestly believe that when they get older they'll really remember listening to these books.

4.  I stick with books I would give up on if I was reading it.  Dandelion Fire is the perfect example.  My daughter and I weren't thrilled.  We say "let's give it one more day".  After that day we say "just one more".  By the end we were completely into the story.  If I had been reading it traditionally, I would've given up half way through. 

5.  Lastly, it's helping see how audio books can help my struggling and reluctant readers.  I tell all my kids now that aren't really into reading that they should look into audio books.  I know some people would disagree with me, but if I can't at least get them reading that way..... who knows.  It's funny because I'll tell them they can put them on their Ipod and listen.  AND that no one would have to know.  They can just dance around now and again, and people will think they are listening to music! Usually they laugh at me when I say that, but I do see that they give it a thought!  I'll do just about anything to get a kid reading, and if selling them audio books is the way to do it - then that's what I'll do.

So anyways, those are my thoughts on audio books.  There are a few things I don't like, but in they end the positives waaaaaaay out-weight the negatives.

How about you?  Do you like audio books? 

PS - If you haven't check out Audible.com do it! I just joined, and it's way more than I thought!

Books I've wanted to get to are now more possible! I read up on reviews about the best audiobook services at NextAdvisor.com to learn more about the options out there.


  1. I always tell my reluctant readers to try audiobooks. I'm just now getting into them myself, though, and REALLY loving it so far. It helps me to read more books, as well, and I LOVE me a good narrator.

  2. What a fantastic post. I have been wanting to post my thoughts on audio books vs. Kindle's text to speech to see what people thoughts were.

    I have a kindle and LOVE to use the text-to-speech function to "read" books during my long commute. The text-to-speech's "voice" on the kindle sort of reminds me of the "gps voice", but after a while I just get into the story and don't even notice it.

    Recently, I picked up an audio book from the library and "read" it on my iphone. Since this was a real audiobook I noticed TONS of difference. The reader takes on different tones of voice with each character. He/she may also put emphasis on words where I wouldn't usually put emphasis. I learned to enjoy it, but it took some getting used to.

    Its really cool you are playing these books in the car for your children on your commutes. I know you are right, your children will definitely remember these times when they are grown and reflect back on them with fondness.

    Great Post!

  3. I want to. I reallly want to. But I keep running into bad voices.

    Great list btw!

  4. Great post. I agree. I love listening to audio books because I can read more and also I find that audio books can bring to life an otherwise boring book.

  5. I like reading audio books. I listen while I walk for exercise or are doing chores. I'm reading The House of Night series now and can really hear the voice.

  6. I really should listen to more audio books. I've got just two on my iPod: Peter Pan as a comfort read to dive into on trips, and The White Darkness, because I fell head over heels in love with Titus' voice (and thought it was so cool that the actor who played the historical character in the miniseries which inspired the book character was doing his voice for the audiobook). There must be more to explore...