Initially, I had thought that I would write only book reviews on the blog. Everything else can be written directly on social media. But now, I am making an exception. There is a reason for this.
Last week I attended a meeting and we started talking about reading and books. I was surprised to know that most people had not heard about audiobooks. I mean for a voracious reader like me, this is old news. But there are still people out there who have no clue about what an audiobook is. So I thought it is high time I wrote something about this. And this will be too long to be written just on Social Media. The topic of audiobooks deserve a blog of its own.
What is an audiobook?
An audiobook is a voice recording of a book which you can listen to anytime from anywhere. Would you believe that audiobooks first emerged in 1932? The American Foundation for the Blind created the first recordings. They were mainly used by the visually impaired.
Audiobooks grew along with technology using cassette tapes in the 1960s and CDs in the 1980s. Amazon’s Audible released the first portable audio player in 1997. But this cost a fortune and could only hold about 2 hours of audio.
It was not until the last few years when smartphones started to be used more commonly that audiobooks became more famous.
How can I listen to an audiobook?
This is another question that a lot of people asked me. Whether we need a separate device to listen to it? The answer is no. You can listen to it from any smartphone or tablet. You just have to download Audible app or audiobooks app depending on where you buy your audiobooks from.
To be honest, I haven’t really tried audiobooks. I tried once before and gave up on it. I guess I chose the wrong book to start with. I tried listening to Origin by Dan Brown. The book was such a huge disappointment that it is no wonder I couldn’t enjoy the audiobook.
I am going on holidays after 2 weeks. It is going to be difficult for me to keep up with reading. I am planning on giving audiobooks a go during summer. I think the best part of an audiobook is that you can listen to it while travelling. I hate reading in the car or anywhere outside. I keep looking up to see what’s happening around me and where my son is. Now with audiobooks, this wouldn’t be an issue. I have seen lots of people who say audiobooks are a life saver. You can listen to them while driving, jogging or in the middle of your household chores!
Does listening to audiobooks count as reading?
Now, this is a debate that is ongoing. Some people say that listening does not count as reading. So they cannot be counted towards the number of books read.
What I think is that it depends on each person. As long as the person understands and enjoys the book, it really doesn’t matter whether it is an audiobook or an eBook or a physical book. Some people enjoy physical books only. Others enjoy eBooks or audiobooks. Then there are those who enjoy all 3 kinds. To each their own, I would say.
Where can I get audiobooks?
Audible by Amazon provides a free trial for one month where you get 2 audiobooks and 2 Audible originals to start with. You also get unlimited access to exclusive audio-guided fitness and meditation programs. If you don’t like an audiobook, you can even swap it for free. How cool is that!! If you decide to continue with the subscription after 30 days, you are charged $14.95/month for 1 audiobook and 2 audible originals every month. At any point, when you decide to cancel the subscription all of your audiobooks are yours to keep forever
In case, you are not ready to buy any audiobook unless you have given a go at it, then I would just suggest you to try an app called Libby. If you have a library card anywhere in the world, you can log into Libby with your card number and borrow eBooks or audiobooks just like you would do from a library. This is the best way to start an audiobook and give them a try.
Do let me know which your first audiobook was and give me some recommendations on what I should start with.