The first question that usually runs in most traditional book readers’ minds, the moment they hear the term “audiobook” is “why should I listen to one?” After all, you can read the copy, right? Well, yes and no! No, because if you’re a book lover who has tried both options, you will agree that they’re both suitable in specific circumstances. So, although most readers view audiobook listeners as not being passionate enough, the opposite is true. And this is probably the main reason why audiobooks are constantly rising in popularity ranks.
So, it isn’t surprising if you’re already considering joining the movement by getting yourself an audiobook listening device. If that’s the case, the next step is learning how to listen to audiobooks. In this article, we take you through some of the best tips to help you get the most out of your experience while having explosive fun.
Why Should You Consider Audiobooks?
First, the audio narrators are usually professional. They project their voices to give life to the author’s words. This gives you a tangible attachment to various scenes throughout the book-one you can easily liken to movie watching.
Also, as the reader introduces various characters of the book with unique voice variations, you get to distinguish them, and that sticks in the mind pretty fast.
Besides, you learn various names’ pronunciations, giving you an upper hand when discussing the book with your peers. Especially if you’re a non-native speaker.
Lastly, you get to pause the audio whenever you want and continue with ease. No guilt of having to complete chapters before taking a break.
Are Audiobooks for Me?
Audiobooks can be used by any book lover. But, they are most preferred by readers who don’t like hardcopies and can’t stand staring into screens for soft versions. Also, it could be that you love reading but your space can’t allow you to store up as many copies as you would like, and you don’t want to give them away.
Also, if you can’t read well, but can listen, an audiobook will do you good. You don’t have to learn the vocabulary since it will be spoken for you. In fact, it’s the most interesting way to learn. And if you can’t have enough books, and are usually on-the-go, an audiobook makes a great companion, even during those solitude moments.
So, in short, audiobooks are for everyone who cares to listen.
Now that you’re in the know-how, let’s get straight into the tips.
Best Way to Listen to Audiobooks
Come-up with a List of Audio Books You Want to Listen to
It’s always advisable to decide which books make it to the listening board, and which ones are better to read on hard copy. You see, some books offer better value when listened to, while others might be ineffective. For instance, entertainment books are easier to listen to, when compared to their technical counterparts.
This should help you come up with a list, picking titles that are mainly fiction-based and dramatic.
Combine with Your Physical Book
If you can’t seem to let go of your hardcopy, but want to try audiobooks, you can combine them and get the best out of the two. Most book lovers argue that when you read and listen at the same time, you arouse your brain’s retention power. So, it will take you years or never to forget the content.
It’s also another way of learning some reading tactics to put in place. For example, you will notice when the narrator rushes through some content and pays more attention to some sections. So you will do the same as you read, grasping the most important details in each section.
Besides, the voice inputs of various characters magnify the read. And you can now highlight your favorite picks in your book as you move forward. It’s a thrilling experience that you will live to share with other book lovers. You can implement this into your book discussion sessions.
One of the main advantages of listening to audiobooks is the multitasking convenience they offer. You are engaged in other activities, and still, get the most out of your listening time. But, pair your activities with caution, lest you lose on both ends.
For example, the best time to turn on your audiobook is when driving yourself around, or when commuting to various destinations. Yes you’re moving around, but your brain isn’t mainly engaged in any other activity. So, you can peacefully concentrate on the audio, getting the most out of it.
Also, audios are great motivators when combined with sporting activities such as running, and other forms of cardio. Listen to your favorite books as you go about your daily activities such as cooking, baby sitting and general cleaning.
However, if you decide to listen to your book when engaging your friends through various social media platforms, or typing content on a computer, you won’t benefit much. Why? Your attention is divided, and you might even lose it along the way.
Also, one of the best ways to maximize listening time is combining it with less favorable activities. Each one of us has something they don’t like doing, but have to do anyway, because it’s somehow important.
So, instead of indulging while feeling bored and all the negative emotions, why not use your favorite audiobook as a motivator? You won’t concentrate on how much you hate the task, and time will move so fast, you would want to rewind. Talk about making lemonade out of a lemon!
How would I concentrate when I am already moody, you ask? Well, remember at that time, your brain isn’t fully engaged in the activity at hand, due to your “hate”. So it will be sourcing out for an escape route. The best way to get engaged is concentrating on that audiobook as your hands get the other job finished and done with.
The best part is that you don’t have to set time aside for this, and you don’t need much effort either. The best example of a win-win situation!
Adjust Reading Speed
When you purchase an audiobook listening device, ensure it offers speed adjustment. That way you can speed up or slow down depending on preference. Sometimes you might be feeling hyper, and a fast speed will compliment you well. So go with the flow, the main focus being enhanced comprehension.
Combine with Journaling
Did you know that journaling isn’t only meant to go with reading? In fact, you can use it to summarize what you learn while listening to an audiobook. The best way to do this pausing after every section, and writing down the most important picks. You can also narrate to yourself or someone else, such as a family member, close friend, or book club associate. It’s also a great way to strike productive conversations with fellow book readers.
Shorten your Listening Sessions
There is a reason why they say “too much of something is poisonous”. Divide your listening segments into short sessions. This way you can enjoy the audiobook, memorize the content, and enjoy while at it.
Besides, the curiosity of getting to the next section will keep you going back for more. But, if you engage in a listening marathon, the chances of getting bored are pretty high. And then you will lose interest in the coming sessions, and won’t even comprehend much.
Another advantage of short sessions is the ability to rewind the scenes as you go about your other businesses. The lingering gets you more indulged in the story, so you get the most out of each burst.
Commit to Subscription
Yes, there are hundreds of free audiobooks out there, but their quality can’t be compared to those of subscription channels. How?
First, for free options, the narrator is usually one and they rarely make an effort to be interesting or dramatic. It’s like having someone read to you some notes. Audio subscriptions, on the other hand, display the highest quality. The narrators sound to be truly soaked into the details of the story, bringing out the characters with the best accuracy. They make even the dullest stories beautiful and engaging, such that you want to go back for more.
This is an important tip, especially for audiobook beginners. Always purpose on subscription, rather than free options. Because if you start wrong, you might end up hating them, when in real sense, it’s the narration that’s lacking professionalism.
Take Book Reviews Seriously
Now that you already have a list of your preferred audiobooks, take time to go through online reviews about the same. Nowadays, the internet has made things easier. By merely typing the book title, you run into turns on information, including customer reviews.
Remember, a good copy doesn’t necessarily guarantee good audio. As mentioned above, the quality of audiobooks largely depends on the dedication and professionalism of the narrators.
Also, you test how compatible the narrator’s style is to you by picking a sample of their work. Some voice attributes such as tone, accent, and pitch can easily turn you off/on. The best part of starting here is that you get a chance to try out various sources, before settling for one. Yes, it might take a little bit of your time, but it sure is worth it, than a wasted purchase.
Alternatively, you can begin the audiobook journey with one of your favorite book reads. That way, your mind is already set for enjoyment, and you will find yourself paying attention to every detail.
This also means sticking within your comfortable genre. Don’t go picking books just because you saw someone else listening to it. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t try out something new. Of course, you can, but allow yourself to get accustomed to the audiobook versions before stretching further. Especially if you’re starting.
Embrace Goodreads for Highlights
Getting used to physical books in some way means getting addicted to some habits such as random bookmarking, underlining, or even highlighting. If you’re used to this, listening to audio without these attributes might be strenuous.
Therefore, to improve your experience, Goodreads presents readers with quotes from their favorite books. So, you can simply like the quotes, and have them stored in your profile for future reference.
Find Some Listening Time before Sleeping
If you’re on a heavy schedule, and love reading, you must be aware of how hard it’s to fit your reads into your schedule. In fact, most of the time, you will find yourself reading in bed, as you wait for sleep to catch-up with you. You can use the same tactic with audiobooks. The best part is that you don’t need the lights, and it’s the best way to soothe yourself to sleep.
All you’ve to do is turn on the sleep timer, and relax. So you can set it according to your preference. Once you begin enjoying the book, you might have to extend the listening time by a few minutes, and that’s okay. However, be careful not to overindulge and deprive yourself of the much-needed sleep. You can do the same with afternoon naps.
Also, on those sleepless nights, good audio will come in handy. It will not only ease the mood but also lure you to sleep. You simply have to find your most preferred best way to listen to audiobooks and work with them. Avoid copy-pasting, because we are all different.
Where Can I Get the Audiobooks?
Before you decide on the audiobook to buy, first understand your device, and how easy it’s to access various apps through it. Basically, if you’re using Apple or Android devices, you can easily access most audiobooks.
Some of the leading audiobook sources include Amazon and Scribd. But of course, there are other worthy considerations such as Google Play Books, Apple Books, and many more.
Recently, the use of audiobooks has been on the rise. It could be because more and more people realize the importance of voiced characters or the convenience they offer. What I do know though, is that audiobooks offer life-changing experiences.
They enhance your comprehension skills and engage you better than physical books. You only have to master the best way to listen to audiobooks, implement and enjoy the magic! Don’t miss out on the fun.
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