Hello, book lovers! 💕
Being that I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately, I figured I’d do a discussion on them. There have been so many things that I absolutely love about audiobooks as well as things that are kind of annoying about them. So that’s what I’m here to discuss: the pros and cons of audiobooks. I want to preface this by saying that these are my opinions and not the only pros/cons of audiobooks. But with that being said, let’s get started!
The Pros of Audiobooks:
Okay, so one of the major pros, at least for me, is that you’re able to read more books. Since you can pick the speed in which the narrator reads a book, you’re able to listen to a book a lot faster. For instance, I tend to listen to an audiobook on 1.5x speed. A lot of people mention in videos on YouTube that they listen to audiobooks on 2x speed. Personally, I think that’s too fast, and I can’t understand what the narrator is saying. But either way, listening to a book on 1.5x or 2x speed cuts the time pretty much in half. So a 10 hour audiobook would take someone 5 hours to listen to on 2x speed.
That brings me to my next point. Being that a 10 hour audiobook would only take someone 5 or 6 hours (depending on the speed of the narration), you can read on the go. Audiobook apps are on your phone, and almost everyone has their phone with them everywhere they go. So driving to work? Listen to an audiobook. Food shopping? Listen to an audiobook. Taking the dog for a walk? Listen to an audiobook. You can do the most mundane tasks while listening to an audiobook. I listen to audiobooks when I do laundry, when I play video games or draw on my iPad. Honestly, it’s gotten to the point where I can’t do one without the other.
At least in my case, when there is a book that I haven’t picked up because of its length (one that’s over 500 pages usually), I tend to opt for the audiobook version. The length of even the audiobook can be daunting, but again, having it being read on 1.5x or 2x speed, you’re able to get through it faster. So long books become a little less intimidating for me.
Listening to an audiobook feels like someone is reading me a bedtime story. I think that’s part of the reason that I love them so much. I don’t have to strain my eyes reading a book because sometimes I just want the story told to me. It sometimes helps paint a picture in my head while also helping hear how certain words are pronounced. Words from different languages or from fantasy/sci-fi worlds sometimes take me out of the story when I read them, but with an audiobook, I’m a bit more immersed in the world the author created.
Lastly, there are apps that go through your local library that are completely free. The ones that I use are Hoopla and cloudLibrary. Both are free to use if you have a library card. Some other free apps are OverDrive and Libby. The only thing with the apps that go through the library is that your local library has to be affiliated with them. So I can’t use OverDrive or Libby because my local library doesn’t have a subscription for OverDrive or Libby that allows its patrons to use the app to get audiobooks or even ebooks. I really hope that makes sense.
The Cons of Audiobooks:
As much as I love audiobooks, there are definitely some cons that come along with it, though I have to admit, I struggled coming up with a list of them.
One of the major ones (that has been happening to me lately) is becoming distracted while listening to an audiobook and miss what was happening in the book. This doesn’t happen to me often because most times, I’m able to follow along while doing something else. But there have been times when I’d be listening to an audiobook while playing a video game or something, and I’d get so focused on whatever else I’m doing that I’d miss something that happened in the story. I think this typically happens to me when I’m listening to a fantasy book because sometimes the world can be complex where I’d have to really focus on what’s going on.
The next con is subjective. Some narrators aren’t good at enveloping the reader in the story – they could put you to sleep or just aren’t pleasant to listen to. I say that this one is subjective because everyone has different tastes. A narrator I think is boring might not be for someone else. Someone else might not find a narrator unpleasant to listen to, but I feel like I’m listening to nails on a chalkboard when I listen to them. It’s all personal preference.
And here’s where I start struggling to find a negative quality to audiobooks. You don’t get to feel the physical book as you’re reading or see the words on the page. Hear me out on this: when listening to an audiobook, you don’t see the words. Okay, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if you come across a word that you don’t know and want to look it up to find the definition, you might not know how to spell it. And yeah, there are ways around it. But I’d find it kind of annoying to have to dig even more just to find a definition.
So there you have it. The pros and cons of audiobooks. Do you agree with my list? Are there any that I left off? I’d love to discuss it in the comments below!