WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AUDIOBOOKS: PROS, CONS & WHY THEY’RE WORTH A SHOT.

In interviewing for BOOK’D (first interview here), I’ve been learning a lot about other people’s reading preferences and one of the questions is their favorite reading medium. I’ve spoken to paper book aficionados, kindle die-hards and just ONE audiobook lover in the lot. In fact, many people have scoffed at the idea of audiobooks. I love the difference in preferences because what’s life without a little diversity?

Which do you prefer? Paper books, Ebooks or Audiobooks? Click To Tweet

Still, I feel like I owe it to humankind to sell people on the idea of audiobooks. Stay with me, folks.

WHY AUDIOBOOKS? aka PROS.

-For times when you wanna read handsfree, for example, in the kitchen. I’ve gone through an hour of audiobooks just making dinner and washing up. It’s life-changing, especially if the rest of your day is far too busy. Also, for all ye who drive, an audiobook is a great way to improve a long commute, especially on days when you’re not feeling very podcast-y.

-Decreased screen time. If you usually read on your computer (WHY?), your phone or a backlit kindle, an audiobook is a great alternative to rest your eyes and your Wernicke’s area. Give your brain a different kind of stimulation.

-Increase your ‘reading’ speed. I love this feature especially when the book begins a crescendo. When I read, there’s a real limit on how fast I can go, but with audio books I can listen at twice the speed and still follow if I’m really into the story.

-Audiobooks are fantastic for your imagination. The narrators don’t just read the books in a monotone but it’s incredible how they actually change their voices especially for fictional books and then there are non fiction books narrated by the actual authors like Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, Shonda Rhimes and Amy Poehler.

-You can actually save audio clips; the audio equivalent of highlighting.

HOW? aka TIPS FOR ENJOYING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

It’s essential to note that not every book is audiobook material. A few pointers:

-If you’re just starting out with audiobooks, it’s probably a good idea to start with some fun non-fiction that’s easier to follow and not a complex story with fifty seven characters and long winding sentences.

-Audiobooks are best enjoyed when you’re by yourself and can actually focus on spoken word e.g when you’re cooking or cleaning or washing your car etc

-Make sure who’s narrating. The struggle with books by Africans is that sometimes people who aren’t African narrate (total fail), because the really bad pronunciation of African names is something I just can’t get past. It’s too distracting. Make sure.

If you're just starting out with audiobooks, it's probably a good idea to start with some fun non-fiction Click To Tweet

AUDIOBOOKS MAY NOT BE FOR YOU IF:

-You need to hold a physical book and caress the words with your eyes.

-You don’t know how to just listen to things and you don’t care to learn (because you can learn. I’d never been much of an audio-anything-that-isn’t-music person when I started audiobooks & podcasts).

-You’re a meticulous reader who cannot let a single word slip through unread. You might miss a word or two with audiobooks if the pace lulls, but this is something I like. With slow paced books, I don’t have to put myself through the actual reading (it’s a lazy person thing).

-You’re very distractible. I’m in my own head a lot too so my mind can wander, but a good audiobook will have you eating out of it’s palm, waiting for the next word, so you must be REALLY easily distracted. Or you just haven’t listened to a good one.

MAJOR CON:

Audiobooks are not cheap. However Audible offers you a free trial and you can get two books for free and cancel whenever. If you decide to keep your membership, you get one credit every month to pick a book of your choice for zero dollars. (This is probably a good time to mention that this isn’t sponsored by Audible. I just don’t know any other audiobook merchants).

RECOMMENDED AUDIO BOOKS:

Brit Bennett’s ‘The Mothers’. Listen to a sample here.

Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes, Please’. Sample here.

Shonda Rhimes ‘Year of Yes’ Sample here.

Ayobami Adebayo’s ‘Stay With Me’ (which I reviewed here). Sample here. (Ghanaian narrator, but fantastic work).

Lindsey Kelk’s ‘I Heart London’. Sample here. (First audiobook I ever listened to).

I hope I’ve somehow convinced you to look twice at audiobooks? Or maybe if someone offered you a free audiobook, you’d take it?

If not, here’s an idea, If you’re interested in trying out any of the audiobooks mentioned, there’s a new Audible function that allows me to share a book for free with a recipient! So, holla.

How do you feel about audiobooks? Ever tried one? What’s your main issue with them? Let me know!

Happy Monday! And have a lovely week! x



  • Tofunmi Awodein

    This post just emphasizes what Cassava Republic on soundcloud started, i listened to Yemisi Aribisala read ‘Safe as Stews’ and i couldn’t have read it better, ever.

  • the only audiobook I’ve listened to is Shonda Rhimes’ Year of yes. I listened to it on a road trip by myself. It was so great. Audibooks are perfect for road trips. I’m really going to try more Audiobooks.

    • You should! They’re awesome!

  • Ifeyinwa Arinze

    Hey Afoma!

    A friend (Mohini) put me onto your blog a few days ago, and I love the work you’re doing on here! I’m a voracious reader so discovering spaces like this is just a pure delight! This year, I decided to give audiobooks a try, and so far I’ve listened to Modern Romance & Born a Crime. Born a Crime was absolutely FANTASTIC- it was narrated by the author. I’m biased towards physical books, but I plan to listen to audiobooks every once in a while. Invisible Man is going to be my next listen, hopefully- it’s narrated by Joe Morton (Papa Pope on Scandal).

    • Hi girl!!! Welcomeeee! You’re exactly the kind of reader I’m looking for so it makes me so giddy when a book lover finds and loves this space! Yay!

      EVERYONE is saying such good things about Trevor Noah’s audiobook, I’m tempted to get it! I think once in a while is the best plan for audiobooks. I’m so glad to have you on here! Thanks for leaving a comment and I have to say a huge thank you to Mohini! x

  • I LOVE audiobooks! They’re such a great way to read more. I usually set them at 1,5x or 2x speed.
    When I’m driving or doing something else which doesn’t put me in a position to hold a book, I usually play them.
    Although the best feeling is still to have the book in your hands, in my opinion 🙂

    Lana | lanamorgan.com

    • Yes, I definitely agree. I would only own paper backs if I could, but that’s not always possible. Audiobooks are really becoming a great fave of mine. x