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The freedom and convenience of audiobooks

By Marissa Gillett | Sep 10, 2020

The freedom and convenience of audiobooks

I grew up in a family of audiobook lovers. Whether we were on a road trip hundreds of miles away from home or hanging out on our back porch, it was a safe bet to assume a book on tape was rolling in the nearest cassette player. If audiobookish was a word, it would definitely describe my mom. In fact, the most angry I have ever seen my mom was when my sister and I recorded over her favorite book on tape with an episode of Rick Dees Weekly Top 40. She did not agree that Outkast’s Hey Ya! was more entertaining than Pat Conroy’s Beach Music.

If you ask my mom why she chooses audiobooks over a traditional book, her answer is simple; audiobooks provide a way for her to read as much as she wants without the need to prioritize it over other activities or responsibilities. Her reasoning has really stuck with me into adulthood. While I definitely enjoy reading in the written form, most of my literature consumption is through audiobooks. Here are just a few of the ways I sneak in books during my day-to-day life. I listen:

  1. While crafting – Whether I’m just coloring in my National Parks coloring book, learning how to make polymer clay earrings, or scrapbooking the night away, I always have an audiobook playing in the background.
  2. While gardening – I currently live in a second-floor apartment, but I luckily have a balcony with container gardens full of herbs and peppers. Any time I pop out to tend to the garden, I throw on my Bluetooth headphones so I can listen to a chapter of my current book while I’m up to my elbows in dirt.
  3. While exercising – If my exercising happens anywhere other than the woods, I’m not a fan. I found that listening to music while I ran made me annoyingly aware of just how long I’d been running, and therefore how much longer I had to go. As soon as a song would end, I’d think, “Wow, that was only three minutes??” Switching to audiobooks has helped so much because I am so distracted by the story that I can’t get caught up by how long I’ve been in pain and how much longer I will continue to suffer.
  4. During dog walks – Unfortunately, I don’t currently have a canine pal, but in between college and working for OverDrive, I was a dog walker with a fantastic local company here in Cleveland. I would spend anywhere between an hour and five hours walking dogs around the city. Audiobooks really came in handy during that time, and it might be one of the reasons I use to convince my partner that we need a dog of our own.
  5. While cleaning – Book are an excellent motivator when it comes to chores for me. If I am in the middle of a good book, I will literally find things to scrub so that I can have an excuse to listen. I listen to audiobooks while I clean so often that I bought a Google Home Mini for each part of my house so I can connect Libby to a speaker regardless of which room I’m currently cleaning.
  6. In the shower – Pro tip. If you listen to audiobooks in the shower, it’s like you have dedicated reading time built into your schedule. Although, be warned that your water bill may increase if you aren’t careful!
  7. While cooking – I love to cook, but sometimes at the end of the day, it’s hard to motivate myself to spend an hour over the hot stove. I find that if I throw my current book on, I’m more likely to suck it up and cook a healthy meal than I am to order take-out.
  8. In the car – As the traveler with the Digital Bookmobile, I drive a lot. Most of the time that I spend driving while out on the road is long distances all by my lonesome. You’d think that would be incredibly boring, but the time really does fly by while listening to an audiobook. This was even the case in Los Angeles, where a ten mile drive could take three hours.
  9. During doctors appointments – I can’t remember the last time I sat in a doctor’s office reading an outdated magazine. Whether I’m stuck in the waiting room or sitting in the examination room waiting for the doctor to arrive, my audiobook is there to keep me sane.
  10. As I fall asleep – Listening to someone speak lulls me to sleep instantly, so I love to turn my audiobook on right before bed. As a bonus, Libby’s sleep timer means I’ll never have to go back to find my place the next morning!

By listening rather than reading, I’m able to finish double, and sometimes even triple, the amount of books I would by just reading alone. Do you use audiobooks to increase the amount of reading you fit into your schedule or to spice up a boring activity? Let us know over on our Instagram (@digitalbookmobile).