Approximately 1 in 5 people listen to audiobooks.
Some people choose audiobooks as an opportunity to revisit their favourite books in another form. Others just love optimizing their productivity as they go about their day.
Looking to get into audiobooks? In this article, I'll be sharing some tips to help you get into audiobooks and actually enjoy them, based on my personal experience and what has worked for others, too.
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As someone who loves personal development and continuous learning, I'd always heard of audiobooks as a good way to make the most of your spare time.
Still, I had never really got into them.
Perhaps I was a little more traditional. I had always enjoyed physically picking up and reading a good hard copy book.
But listening to audiobooks? That seemed a little different...
However, I'm also a big advocate of regularly challenging yourself, so one day I decided to put my prejudices away and just try an audiobook for once.
It took me less than a couple of hours to read the physical book, so I figured that it would be a great audiobook to start with.
It was! I listened to the whole book in less than 45 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed it, picking up new points that I had missed before.
Now I won't say that listening to books is the same as reading them - because it's obviously not - but it's a unique experience that now has its own flavour and place in my daily learning activities.
Personally, I find that audiobooks require less time and energy compared to regular reading, so it's a great way to consume books that I need to read in a short amount of time. And it's quite relaxing too!
With this in mind, here are a few tips to help you get into audiobooks:
There are many online services where you can get your first audiobook.
The one that most people are familiar with is Amazon Audible, which is a membership that allows you to get one audiobook credit every month, unlimited access to Audible Original Podcasts, a bonus Editors' Extra listen, and a 30% discount on any additional audiobooks.
Personally, I enjoy listening to books on Audiobooks.com, another service that's just like Audible but not as commonly known.
Their membership includes one audiobook per month plus a bonus audiobook from their specially curated VIP selection. They also offer a free podcast feature on Apple and Android, 8 Audiobook Clubs to suit various interests, and access to special member deals and discounts.
Both of the above services allow you to access audiobooks wherever you go, either through one-time purchases or a monthly subscription.
Note: If you're trying to build the habit of listening to new books consistently, a monthly subscription will help keep you motivated every month.
Also, for beginners, I recommend taking advantage of the free trials on both Audible and Audiobooks.com, so you can see what you like and get as many free audiobooks as possible.
Another tip to help you get into audiobooks is to find a convenient setting to listen to them in. Remember, this is not reading - it's supposed to be more laid-back and enjoyable!
Rather than sitting in one spot like you do when reading a physical book, find activities to do while you listen to your audiobook.
Many people enjoy listening to audiobooks while travelling, working out, cooking, or cleaning. Listening to audiobooks while doing chores can make even the most dull or mundane activities a lot more interesting!
Here's another idea: a lot of people like putting the TV on as background noise while working on their laptop (or even just scrolling on their phone). If you like to do this, you could consider swapping the TV noise for an audiobook.
Find a narrator with a voice you like - e.g. a British accent - and put it on in the background as you complete tasks that don't require too much thinking.
Don't feel like you need to sit down and listen to a whole audiobook from start to finish.
You can if you want, but it may be more feasible to fit audiobooks around daily activities that you have to do anyway, or during moments when you're waiting for something.
When getting into audiobooks, it always helps to start out with what you already know and like.
There are many ways to do this.
First of all, if there are any podcasts or blogs that you enjoy, check if they also have a book.
For example, if you listen to the Tim Ferriss Show podcast, you might decide to listen to the Tools of Titans audiobook, which distills new tips from guests that were previously on the podcast, in addition to bonus tools that you can't find anywhere else.
You can also go back and listen to the audio versions of books you've already read, or you can explore new books by your favourite authors.
Some audiobooks are even narrated by the authors themselves, which could be a cool experience if you've never heard them speak before!
Another thing that can help is picking out audiobooks in specific categories or genres that you have an interest in. Here are a few examples:
If you've ever been interested in learning about ancient and modern history, listening to history audiobooks is the way to go. These audiobooks will fill you in on the backstory behind famous historic events and their modern implications. This is a great way to learn about the past that doesn't require reading a heavy textbook!
We just talked about starting with what you're already familiar with. With biography audiobooks, you have the opportunity to learn about the lives of famous people you admire or have briefly heard about, in personal, riveting detail.
We all need a boost of motivation every now and then. Mindset audiobooks allow you to tap into uplifting words of wisdom from artists, entrepreneurs, and professionals who have overcome challenges of various sizes and dimensions. These audiobooks will give you a fresh perspective on your goals, hopes, and dreams.
Have you ever thought of using audiobooks to learn a new language? It's a great way to immerse yourself in a foreign culture as you go about your daily activities. For example, I recently shared the 6 Best Audiobooks for Learning Spanish. Listening to language audiobooks will improve your pronunciation and comprehension, and build your overall confidence.
Ever wanted to read classic novels, but never had the time? Why not put a classic audiobook on during your next road trip? As you catch up on beloved literary classics, you'll expand your knowledge of the world and familiarize yourself with the popular references from these books that come up in everyday life.
Audiobooks don't always have to be educational. Sometimes they can just help you wind down. Many people enjoy listening to audiobooks as a way to calm their mind before they go to sleep. Choose one of your favourite books or listen to a recommended bedtime audiobook, and you're set for a relaxing trip to la-la land.
Thanks for reading this guide on how to get into audiobooks. Hopefully you've found some useful tips that can get you started.
The beautiful thing about audiobooks is that they allow you to learn so much - within a short period of time, and without very much effort. They can even just give you a good laugh when you're feeling down or bored.
It's a whole new world to explore, and I'm truly excited for you!
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