Six reasons to listen to audiobooks


Sometimes you have to listen to get it. Here’s a riddle: You are the bus driver. You drive three blocks and pick up two people. You drive three more blocks and one person gets off. You drive around the corner and pick up five people. How old is the bus driver?  Read it aloud, slowly and clearly, one time, to someone and watch the reaction of puzzlement. (If you still haven’t figured it out, scroll to the bottom of the screen.)

Audiobooks are like this riddle. When listening to an audiobook, the journey may take you straight to the end of the book. Or, if your commute is a short one, you may venture through a chapter or two. I rarely finish audiobooks borrowed from the library during the first loan. Sometimes there can be a couple of weeks’ wait for a popular title to be available so I can re-borrow to finish listening, and so my listening bus ride has detours, and more than a few stops and starts. Thank goodness for the bookmark feature on downloadable audiobooks!

Audiobooks can help struggling students, aid language learning, inspire kids and adults who don’t think they like to read, and combat reading fatigue. Here’s a testimonial from Susie Wilde, a read-aloud advocate. “I have ADD and when I get overwhelmed, my brain short-circuits. Several years ago, however, I began to notice that if I tuned into an audiobook when I was scattered, I was able to focus and organize. I’d heard that typing frees your left brain so your creative mind can run free and, for me, it seemed that an engaging listen reined in my imagination and gave my print-weary eyes a respite… My daughter teaches ESL. This year, after she found one of her ESL students struggling to keep up with a book the class was reading, she gave him an audio version. Everything changed: at the end of the school year, he was thrilled when she loaded new audiobooks on a mobile device for his ‘summer reading.’ I learned from her how listening often is an easier path than visual reading.”

Want to have some audiobook fun?  Here are six reasons to listen to a book, with recommendations and sound clips:

1. Audiobooks transport you

Fiona Shaw reads “Nora Webster” by Colm Tibn. Listen to a sample.

Seth Numrich reads “A Sudden Light” by Garth Stein. Listen to a sample.

2. Authors read in their own voice

Alan Cumming reads “Not My Father’s Son.” Listen to a sample.

Willie Geist and Bill Geist read “Good Talk Dad.” Listen to a sample.

3. Multiple voices narrating engage you

Derek Jacobi, Robert Madge, Clare Corbett, Miriam Margolyes, Andrew Scott, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Emilia Fox, Reece Shearsmith, Lenny Henry, Neil Gaiman reading “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. Listen to a sample.

Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, Mark Deakins read “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult. Listen to a sample.

4. Nonfiction comes alive

Sean Crisden reads “All God’s Dangers: the Life of Nate Shaw” by Theodore Rosengarten. Listen to a sample.

Wil Wheaton reads “What if? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” by Randall Munroe. Listen to a sample.

5. Characters enthrall

Juliet Stevenson reads “Paying Guests” by Sarah Waters. Listen to a sample.

Lorelei King reads “Some Luck” by Jane Smiley. Listen to a sample.

6. Tension builds

Bahni Turpin reads “Back Channel” by Stephen L. Carter. Listen to a sample.

Dick Hill reads “Personal” by Lee Child. Listen to a sample.

These audiobooks are all hot fall releases for your listening pleasure. Discover the unique experience of reading an audiobook or two. Add them to your For Later shelf!

*(How old is the bus driver?  However old YOU are.)

Photo of David Marshall, Bus Driver from Melbourne, Australia  from Mrdavo85


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