I used to look down on people who didn’t actually read “real” books. Because that is the impression I had of audio books. Which is not really the smartest way of looking at it. But I never claimed to be such a smart person anyway. My point is though, that audio books really aren’t so bad. In fact, they can be a great addition to “physical” books. Or even more so they are great for people who can’t concentrate well on the printed word. Or well … who can’t read at all. I mean who said that people who can’t read or write shouldn’t get to have the pleasure of fantastic stories or self help books?
I own printed books, ebooks and audio books. The digital books allow me to own way more books than fit my tiny dorm room for a start. I don’t have a room back at my mom’s place anymore. So I have to live with a minimum amount of books if I don’t wanna drown in them. Which, if I think about it isn’t exactly the worst way of dying. But before I am losing track of the topic completely, let’s just say that audio books (and ebooks) are a great way of being more of a minimalist.
The second thing I love about audio books is that they are a way of regaining the feeling of a bedtime story. When we are younger we don’t realize how special being read to really is. You might get glimpses of that later on when you and your best friend manage to read a whole book together in one night by taking turns reading aloud or when your SO wants to share a favourite passage in what they are currently reading, but really … I came to miss the ritual of crawling deep into the covers and not having to do anything but listen to a warm familiar voice that takes me on adventures. At least that is the way I like to think about it nowadays.
Another major reason is time management. Maybe your life is way less turbulent than mine or you are awesome at reading physical copies of books no matter the place you are in. I however am always rushing from one place to the next, am too tired to read myself or simply find myself choosing between cooking/cleaning or reading. And because I don’t want to miss out on the stories … I put on another chapter of an audio book and listen while I am resting or doing other super important things. They make me a more responsible grown up so to say.
And then there are smaller reasons left over. One is that I tend to understand stories better when they are read aloud. This only refers to English books only, because I am still a foreigner, as well as I sometimes cover up that fact when writing. Since German is what I am most familiar with there are a lot of words that I have to guess from context. And finally I just really came to love the fact that I can choose a medium whenever I want to. Not only because I can compare prices of three different mediums, choose voices if there are several versions of one book, but because I can choose whatever I am in the mood for. Sometimes I just really need the smell of the pages, the feel of a heavy book in my hands, other times I just couldn’t read a book at all because my eyes are so tired that closing them and drifting off to a soft voice in my ears is the most satisfying sensation on the planet.