There are perks to reading audiobooks over reading the old fashioned way. Put down your pitchforks, people. I’m not suggesting to never look at a printed page or a touchscreen again. Just take a look at the amazing things you can do with an audiobook.
1. You’re Able To Multitask
Let’s face it. We’re busy. You have to dedicate time to hold a book and stare at the words directly. And you can’t do anything else simultaneously. Audiobooks allow us to fold laundry, cook dinner, commute to work on the bus or subway, exercise, and read all at the same time. More items crossed off the checklist and getting a good book in? Win!
2. You Learn How To Pronounce Words
Have you ever read a word, even knew what it meant, but you didn’t know how to pronounce it?
I botched the words epitome and victuals the first time I said them out loud because I had only read them silently. Many words we read don’t come up much in conversation these days, but saying a word wrong out loud can be embarrassing.
Thank you, audiobooks, for fixing that problem.
3. They Help Out Audio Learners
Not everyone learns the same way. Some of us learn better by reading and others by listening. With audiobooks, those who learn best through verbal explanation can enjoy the written word too.
Several studies have indicated that auditory comprehension and reading comprehension are strongly correlated. We seem to gain just as much from the text, regardless of what medium we receive it.
4. They Help Us Gain A New Perspective
Audiobooks are narrated by professional actors, full cast ensembles, or the authors themselves. Other than Ferris Bueller’s teacher, everyone varies their speech. In other words everyone emphasizes certain words, phrases, or syllables when they speak.
Sometimes the narrator reads the text as anyone would. For example: whispering if the text says the character is whispering. Though in other parts, the narrator could take some liberties with his or her interpretation of the text.
Pausing slightly. Lowering the voice. Having his or her voice crack with emotion. These narrator idiosyncrasies could lead to insights into the character or the story that you might not have noticed if you read the book through the voice in your own head.
Here are a few I recommend:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; narrated by Tim Curry
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad; narrated by Kenneth Branagh
5. They Keep Us Entertained
As previously mentioned, many audiobooks are read by actors, who entertain for a living. Some even include multiple people or a full cast of actors to perform the story.
Although there are no visuals, audiobooks maintain theatricality. The actors bring the story and the characters exuberantly to life.
If you have a favorite actor, check to see if he or she has performed for an audiobook!
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; narrated by Dan Stevens
Here is a full cast audio book to try:
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
6. They Encourage Us To Discover Our Inner Actor/Actress
We can’t all be Robin Williams with a entire repertoire of impressions, though young children need to find reading fun!
Audio narrators often create different voices for characters to make the story easier to follow and more entertaining: exactly what we need to pique a child’s interest in reading. For parents wanting ideas on how to make reading more exciting for their young children, try listening to an audiobook with a variety of characters for voice ideas, such as the talented Jim Dale performing the Harry Potter series.
7. They Make Fun Group Activities
Have you ever tried reading a long book with your spouse, child, or a friend? You either wait silently until you both have finished the page, or you read out loud until your voice goes raspy. Enter audiobooks. No more waiting for the slowpoke to catch up and no going hoarse.
What books would you recommend reading as an audiobook?
YouTube Channel: Jean Bookishthoughts
Featured image via Brock Black