Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How Audiobooks and Podcasts can change your Life!

Do you find that you rarely (if ever) have time to sit down and read a book? Do you find yourself wishing you had the time or want to read more books?
 If you answered yes to any of those questions then you will fall in love with audiobooks!

 I use to make time to read when I put my kids to bed and I had to sit in the hallway and wait for them to fall asleep.

(Oh I am glad those times are over because it would take them forever to go to bed and I had to sit there and make sure they didn't get out of bed.)
But now I feel like I don't have that "sit down and read time" like I use to. Kelly, our fabulous book club Pres, introduced me to audiobooks about four years ago and I fell in love with them.

I am addicted.

 I love listening to audiobooks because I can still "read" while simultaneously getting other things done like: driving, grocery shopping, working out, folding laundry, getting ready and cleaning. I have been spotted in Costco with my huge over the ear headphones listening to a book and I really don't care if I look stupid. I can get so much accomplished while listening to a book. I usually put my books on 2x speed because I swear they record these books at the slowest speed possible. There has only been one time I couldn't listen to an audiobook and that was mainly because the reader was awful but 95% if the time, the readers are FABULOUS and really bring the book to life! If you haven't listened to The Harry Potter Series then you are seriously missing out because the reader, Jim Dale, is AMAZING!! Another book I listened to was one of my favs called "Fangirl" .

Skip ahead to 2:00 in and just listen to Jim create magic with his voice!

Does LISTENING to an audiobook count as reading a book? 
Oh, the great debate on that question has been asked for years. Do you have to use your eyes to get credit for “reading” a book? Do you get everything out of the experience you’re supposed to, or is it just one more apocalyptic sign that modern consumers of culture just can’t sit still and enjoy the finer things in life? but here's what I think.
  In author Rainbow Rowell's book "Fangirl" the main character Cath is talking to Levi about how he has never read a book and they have an assignment due on a book they have to read for a class.  He isn't good at reading and records all his college classes to listen to and study later. (Cath ends up reading the entire book out loud to him.) Levi says he has listened to audiobooks and Cath says that counts as reading the book.

I think each person has to make the decision for themselves. I consider reading a book vs listening to the audio version the same. The purpose of reading is to experience the work. To feel the play of words wash over you. Suggesting that audiobooks are somehow less than reading in my opinion, is hogs wash.
I find it's just a different experience, no less valuable. Hearing the text read by a good actor can be a real pleasure. For me it slows the experience down, and I savor the details. But if you get distracted really easily and find yourself not paying attention to the reader then maybe having a book in your hand to keep you focused is the better reading experience for you. 
And the debate lives on...
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Audiobook Sources
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There are many apps out there for audiobooks. Probably the most well known is Audible. There is a link to audible to the left of this post if you want to try it out but it will cost you a monthly fee.

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Free Audiobooks

Check out your local library and you will find that they have a lot of audiobooks on CD and some libraries are linked to Overdrive an online audiobook and eBook app for your phone or computer. Also there are free audiobook apps out there especially if they are more of the classic books. I want to add here that audiobooks are great learning tool for your kids. They can follow along in a book while listening to the audiobook to help them to learn to read faster.

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I was recently introduced to Serial a podcast about a reporter who investigates a murder that happens and reviews all the evidence she can find. Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, and is hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story - a true story - over the course of an entire season. Each season, we'll follow a plot and characters wherever they take us. And we won’t know what happens at the end until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we bring you the next chapter in the story, so it's important to listen to the episodes in order, starting with Episode 1. I started this podcast and finished it in two days. The only downer for me is I didn't like the ending and I won't spoil it for you by telling you why but I did like it so much I can't wait for season 2 to start later this year.

There are many different kinds of podcasts and everyone can find something they want to listen to whether for entertainment, education, or fun. Here are a few I am going to try out and see how I like them. The best thing is there are so many to choose from if you don't like one try another one.

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I hope this will give you some ideas on how to read more and learn more in your busy life. Make reading fun again and enjoy all those good books out there.
Give audiobooks and podcasts a chance and I promise it will change your life! You can thank me later.



P.S. If you want to read more books keep count of the books you read on Goodreads and participate in their 2015 Reading Challenge. It's fun and keeps track of your progress for the year.

1 comment :

Karen said...

Great post Kellie! As you know I'm a hard core audio book fan but I also love "reading" too. Once in a while on those special books I really really love, I will do both...listen & read along together. I call it a total immersion experience. A fabulous narrator brings so much more to your reading experience and breathes life into the characters and story. Happy listening!