In the past year, I have become seriously obsessed with audiobooks. I don’t use Audible or anything mainstream because I found out that I can “borrow” them from the library. I mean, it’s free, it’s easy, and there are millions of books to pick from.
Arthur Read was right. “Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.”
While I absolutely love what audiobooks can do for me, I have found some drawbacks. As I often do, I started a Pro/Con list so I’d thought I’d share it with you for some insight (whether you want it or not).
Pro: I can still be productive while I’m reading.
Before I started using audiobooks, I was always stressing out about finishing a book before it was do or I would put off chores and other necessary adult things because my mind wouldn’t be satisfied until I finished the book. Now, I can multitask. For instance, just last night, I put on my wireless headphones and started listening to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” While doing that, I cleaned my bathroom, did the dishes, and played with my cats. It’s like a win-win situation.
Con: I sometimes stop paying attention.
Just as easy as it is to multitask, it’s just as easy to forget to pay attention. There have been times where I find that I’m completely lost in the story and have no idea how we got there.
Pro: I can read more books.
Now, not only do I read a book, but I listen to one, too. I have a book (in physical form) with me at all times in the event that audiobooks aren’t appropriate and the other way around. I have 2 books I’m working on at all times. Double the pleasure reading, double the fun. It’s only September but I’ve already finished my goal of reading 25 books this year. So many more books can be read before December!
Con: It’s harder to update my Goodreads page.
One of my favorite, nerdy things to do is update my Goodreads page. I participate in the reading challenge every year and I take pride in updating what page I’m on in a book. It also lets me know what kind of pace I’m reading at so I can guess when I’ll finish it. With audiobooks, sure, you know what chapter you’re on, but there are no page numbers. It kills me to not be able to update how far along I am in a book. Sometimes, I’ll just take the total number of chapters and divide them to find the percentage of the book I have done, but it’s not the same feeling.
Pro: There’s the possibility for a non-stop reading fest.
Sometimes, if I own a book and I’m really into it, I’ll look for the audiobook. That way, when my eyes can no longer focus on the book, I can pick up right where I left off in audiobook format. This is something I use a lot. Last weekend, in fact, while reading “Cinder”, the first book of the Lunar Chronicles Series, I spent 14 hours reading, listening, and taking the occasional break. I would read until I thought of something I had to do and put the book on audio. Then, when I found myself having a hard time paying attention to the audio, I’d start reading the book again.
Looking at this list, it is clear to me that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to audiobooks. Anyone interested in free audiobooks should talk to their local library about what they have to offer or support paid for audiobook sites like Audible.