Why Audiobooks Are Changing My (Reading) Life

As I’ve said before, I read a lot. In 2012, the goal is 150 books, and I’m right on track.

Amazingly, though, until this year I’d never really taken much of an interest in audiobooks. At least for the last 15 years or so. When I was younger, and I went on long, boring (!) family hikes or road trips, I would lug along audiobook cassettes I’d checked out from the library to listen to on my walkman.

But since podcasts came along, though, I’ve mostly forgotten about audiobooks in favor of all the great content I get in podcast form. And, in my day, I’ve been something of a podcast junkie.

I’ve trained for – and ran – four terribly slow marathons listening to podcasts (well, during one my ipod died at mile 3, but that’s another sad story). I’ve done a 15-day trek to Everest Base Camp listening to podcasts (of Lost recaps, no less) all the way. Since I lost all the files on my computer 8 weeks ago (yes), I’ve had only podcasts on my iphone to listen to.

This year, though, as I was doing the math on deciding to up my annual reading goal from 100 books to 150 books, I started looking into other ways to consume books.

I’ve explained the three reasons my kindle has dramatically increased my reading habits in its own right, and now it’s time to give a shout out to audiobooks. A few months ago, I bought my first book on Audible.com (this was after signing up for their free 30-day trial, where you get one free book to start.) Now I’ve got five books in the queue (in varying degrees of termination).

So what are the books that turned me into an avid audiobook reader this year? Here are the “first” five audiobooks that are turning me around:

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

I’ve heard great things about this book, and figured it was a perfect starter audiobook. So far, I’ve been right!

Steve Jobs

I was hesitant as to whether or not I really wanted to listen to this audiobook — as it’s length makes it a full 25 hours to listen to unabridged. I went for it though, and I’ll let you know if I end up having to buy the Kindle version to get through it quicker half way through;)

Power: Why Some People Have it And Others Don’t

Can’t wait for this one. Many have recommended it.

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

This is one of the most popular books with my mommy friends, and I found it fascinating. Since it’s flavored with French, it was fun to listen to out loud as well.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

This was a strong memoir, and I loved the voice of the reader.

So, have you read any of these books yet? Did you like them?



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8 thoughts on “Why Audiobooks Are Changing My (Reading) Life

  1. I just started using Audible because I have to review 3 books a month for a publication I write for and it’s the best thing ever! And I love that you listed a bunch of books that are in my queue as well. 🙂 Love your blog, Claire! Keep up the great work.

  2. Hi Claire – I am an avid reader, just like you, and too have found the value in a Kindle. I travel a lot and benefit in not carrying all that extra “carry on” weight, makes a big difference. I recently brought, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life”by Donald Miller from Audible. I have really enjoyed hearing the words read by the author, it adds something and while I have also read the book a couple of times (excellent) there were parts when I was listening that I had to go and check were really in the book because I had missed them! Walking/jogging each morning and listening to the text added another depth to the book. My only issue is that they can b so expensive! I don’t want to sign up to a “book a month” deal although it’s significantly cheaper, but standard prices are really high – why is that?

  3. I loved the power of habit, and can totally see how it’s a perfect fit for an audio book. Simple, to the point, and practical advice.

    Thank you for the inspiration, btw. Reading your goal of 150 books this year inspired me to pick up the pace of my own reading.

  4. You are the second person to recommend Wild…I’m getting it.

    I can’t give up the paper page, the smell, the feel, the asterisks next to inspiring phrases I’ll likely never see again.

    What I really want to know is…podcasts. Care to spill it? What are your faves?

    • Working on a post on my fave podcasts!

      But yes, as for *real* books — I always buy paper versions of my faves each year;)