Being an English major, I was never one for audiobooks. I always thought they were “cheater” and I couldn’t see the print on the page, only hear it, which didn’t allow the information to stay as well in my brain. Then, in my last semester of college, I had to read EVERY Jane Austen book on top of 15-20 other literature books for my course studies. That’s a huge amount to read for school. So I read some of my books but found that Jane Austen was a bit bland for me and dragged on and I knew there was no way I was going to finish all my course reading. So I decided to try out an audiobook. Physical book by my side to take notes and reference the text, I listened to Northanger Abbey while trimming my dog’s hair (which takes 2-3 hours), I listened to it before bed, showering, cooking, and in no time, I was finished “reading” the book, and it didn’t take any extra time away from things I would normally do. Also, there is a reader for the classics that I REALLY like, and she makes the stories come to life in a fun way. Her name is Karen Savage. I have her reading of Mansfield Park below if you would like to sample her reading style.
Listening to a book rather than reading a book is a good way to save time. Whether it’s a school book and you are stressed, or whether it is a pleasure read, time is saved! I already detailed an example of how to do your reading for that literature class while doing other things. You have to be careful, though. I would not recommend doing an audiobook while playing a game or writing an essay for another class because you will zone out of the audiobook and miss everything because your brain is processing something else, some other story or textile information.
Here is what I do now with audiobooks for pleasure: instead of listening to the same songs over and over again on my ipod or the radio, I listen to an audiobook while driving. Don’t get me wrong, music is great, but I think I’ll save my favorite songs for a longer road trip and jam out when I have a five hour drive versus a thirty minute drive. My various jobs take me to different places, some closer, some farther. Driving seems like a waste of time when it is so far to drive to work. That’s where an audiobook comes in! Use that time that you aren’t being paid to get to work to “read” something, treating the drive as a relaxing, personal thing before work. On average every week, I probably drive about five hours total to and from work, not counting all my other social activities. THAT IS A LOT OF HOURS TO JUST BE DOODLING AROUND IN THE CAR! Therefore, I actually get five hours of a book “read” every week just when driving.
A few other notes on listening to books:
you can listen to a book while excercising, jogging, walking the dog, or anything else of that sort
- you can have an audiobook played for young children (especially little babies) because listening to the language will help a child understand how text and grammar works, even if they can’t talk yet; their brain is absorbing the information
- I already mentioned cooking and showering, and you can do other household chores as well
- eating out alone? Bring an audiobook for those things that you eat that are too messy or too hard to eat while holding a physical book