Audio Books vs a Book in Hand – Do They Even Compare?

Do you love the smell of a book? Do you NEED to hold one in your hand as you delve into its pages? Is there really any alternative way to read? The answers to these questions are as individual and preferential as the readers themselves. Personally, I cannot stand to read an e-book and I will pay the extra cash to have the hard copy in my hot little hands. But there are times when I am unable to read when I would like to. Ever tried to read a book whilst driving? I know, I know, we do all sorts of things while driving but personally, reading is one of the hardest. As accomplished a multi-tasker as I am, I’m just not that talented.

Who needs an audiobook anyway?

If you live in the bay area or any other place where you are forced to commute for hours at a time, listening to music or a podcast or talking on the phone (hands free of course) can help get through the grind. I’ve used each of these methods myself at one time or another. Most recently, though, I have resorted to audiobooks. I discovered Audible through Amazon and have never looked back. At $14.99 a month, the subscription can seem a little steep but there is something about knowing I have 59 million hours of glorious book listening at my fingertips that makes it a steal.

Maybe you aren’t particular about reading and do not find it enjoyable. Maybe you have a test coming up and need to study or there is a reading list as part of a promotional exam. Audio books are your answer! The list of availability is expanding every day and more often than not, your required reading can be listened too.

I have built an amazing library out of my audio book collection and I listen daily. Doing dishes, commuting, yard work, drowning out the kids thirty requests for snacks every ten minutes – you can listen at any time! It’s a book lovers dream!

The best audio books are the ones carefully crafted and recorded by narrators who’s voices envelope you in the story. Remember when you were a kid and your parents did all the voices for the the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood? This is the grown up version! it can be difficult to choose a book not knowing if the narrators voice will soothe you or grate on your nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. I recommend downloading a sample so you don’t pay full price to listen to a book read while wanting to punch the narrator in the face.

What book to choose.

By choosing an audio book, I have listened to books I would never have chosen while browsing my favorite book store shelves. Some of my unexpected choice favorites include: No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington by Condoleezza Rice (read by the author herself), Bossypants by Tina Fey (read by the author) and my current favorite read, Plum Island by Nelson Demille (read by Scott Brick).  

What about books for kids?

There is a great selection of audio books for your little book worm as well. I have downloaded The Complete Wizard of Oz Collection by L. Frank Baum (read by Eric Vincent) and piped it through my blue tooth speakers while we drove to Disneyland. Its 91 hours of great story telling at my fingertips and th kids have to be quiet to hear it! Double win if you ask me.

I still enjoy a good straight off the shelf but when on those days or in the hours my hands are full, I pop in my favorite earbuds and lose myself in the pages anyway.

Do you have a favorite audio book or recommendation? Let me know in the comments.


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