Guest Post: Listen Up… This Is Why Audiobooks Rule!

Today, as part of our week-long celebration of the new Baby Grand audiobook, Matthew Burns of audiobooknerds.com guest-blogs and tells us why he may be the audiobook’s biggest fan — and why you should be too.

The world of audiobooks is undergoing massive change. You may even equate where we are right now as a “renaissance” period – while we continue to grow technologically, there seems to be less and less time for the simplicities in life, which means the written world has to keep up with the demands of an ever-busy consumer. This is just a fractional piece of why audiobooks are exploding. Still, as they continue to gain in popularity, one phrase in particular constantly comes up:

“Aren’t audiobooks cheating?”

The number one reason WHY this question might be asked is because of the commitment reading actually takes. Sure you learn to read at a young age and a well-cultivated love makes reading a breeze – but there is still the matter of time. You (generally) need to be in the right frame of mind, a quiet place, and be able to commit the time to actually read more than a page. You can see below one of the many interactions I’ve encountered on the subject.

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Excellent points, yes, but those things can still be applied to an audiobook. When you’re presented with the opportunity to multitask yet STILL gather everything you need to enjoy an amazing story, it logically feels like you’re gaming the system. But that is part of the reason audiobook lovers are so passionate – we can enjoy more novels than most due to the ease with which reading comes.

Our normal, everyday (maybe even mundane) tasks are transformed into opportunities. Countless times I’ve seen “I drove an extra block to keep listening” or “I can’t stop doing laundry otherwise the story will end!”

You get the benefit of a potentially amazing performance. Sure, books are great, but seriously have you heard an award-winning actor bring an audiobook to life? This is where the lazy argument comes back in; I can hear it now (no pun intended) – “But you don’t have to imagine the amazing voice? How dare you!” No matter how amazing your imagination is, a great narrator will change the way you think and experience a book for the better. Certainly most people learn to read at an early age, but even before that comes listening.

There are so many other benefits we won’t get to touch on. What if you’re blind and cannot physically read? What about the ability to learn pronunciation and different accents/dialects from trained professionals? How about the soothing capabilities audiobooks have as part of a nightly routine for sleep? Audiobooks are tools with which you can hone your listening skills, make good use of time already being spent, get an amazing performance – and enjoy doing so in the process. There are hundreds of great benefits to the world of audiobooks and what they can bring to a person’s life. I’m glad Dina is one of the smart authors to realize how important this medium can truly be.

040413_headshotMatthew Burns is just another guy trying to change the world, one blog post at a time. You can find him on audiobooknerds.com where he regularly produces a podcast and blog posts for the inner Audiobook Nerd in us all.

Note: All this week, we will be celebrating the audiobook release of Baby Grand. Tomorrow: Hear Ye, Hear Ye: How to Sell an Audiobook

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One thought on “Guest Post: Listen Up… This Is Why Audiobooks Rule!

  1. It always makes me angry when other people feel they can define another persons experience. Words have different meanings. I can say I “walked to the store” and no one will say “No, you actually skipped, jogged, sauntered or ran that’s not really walking!” To place value on the strict interpretation of the word read, says the experience of ingesting the printed text is more valuable than listening. So, I can then say I was reading because I spent the day driving around reading street signs and advertisement, and it is of equal value to your day spent reading Tolstoy or Stephen King.

    I started listening to audiobooks, because I can listen to books while I work. If I attempted to read a print book while working I’d walk into trees and trip over people, and get no work done. Then to have someone tell me I must find a different word to describe my activity God Forbid some feel that my listening is on par with there reading is simply obnoxious. Active listening is a skill that it takes effort to hone and can be just as valuable as actual reading, and those who listen to audiobooks, unless hampered by a physical disability that prevents it, typically are also print readers.

    *ends rant*

    Thanks for this post, and I hope the audio version of Baby Grand is a great success.

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