Generally, I’m not an auditory person. I can’t learn by listening for the life of me. I don’t like to have loud conversations going on around me. I’m not big on music, sometimes even if I really like that music. I’ve yet to find a podcast I can stick to.
What can I say. My head’s a loud place all on its own. (I can’t imagine I’m alone in this—shout out to the introverts).
So suffice it to say it took me a long time to start appreciating audiobooks. I started them purely as an experiment thanks to an Audible free trial, and gradually, as I adjusted to the experience, I surprised myself. First, by how much faster I could consume a book, which was satisfying on its own. But later, by how much I truly got lost in the narration.
In fact, there are actually times when I prefer a set of headphones to turning pages as The Superior Reading Method.
Here are six times audiobooks are so much better, even for an audio-limited person like me:
I always feel like I’m shuffling and adjusting while flying. There are other people too close to me, the space is too tight, and I have no elbow room. Besides, books take up precious carry-on space in your bag and add significant weight. But headphones wrap so nicely around my neck.
I have always loved to read in the sun. But the sand. And the water. And the way my fingers get all sticky from sunscreen. It’s not just harder to read a book by the water, it’s risky for your paperbacks and e-readers!
But a cheap pair of earbuds relieves all that anxiety for me, and I can lay back, shut my eyes, and just enjoy.
Here in D.C., I take the metro to work. That means a lot of hustle, bustle, and, well, shoving is sometimes part of my day. I do sometimes take a paperback or e-reader with me, but going hand-free with an audiobook makes it a lot easier to keep reading when you’re packed in tighter than sardines between Chinatown and Metro Center.
I do all my cooking prep for the week on Sundays, and it takes a fair amount of time. It’s a busy period—brown the meat, chop the veggies, preheat the oven, stir the sauce—that is simultaneously boring and overstimulating, because I am constantly multitasking.
Most background noises drive me nuts when my head is this busy. But the soothing voice of a good narrator (and a good story) have the opposite effect, soothing me and keeping my mind entertained while in the background I take care of the cooking.
For shorter workouts I still prefer music, but when I’m training for half-marathons and my weekend runs stretch well over an hour, an audiobook keeps my mind busy and helps me settle into the run and just accept this, mile eight, is simply where I live now.
Going to Sleep
I’m not going to tell you how long it took me to discover that Audible offers a “sleep” function so you can preset it to stop playing after a designated amount of time. I’m just going to tell you that I was very excited when I found it.