Readers Share Their Love of Audiobooks

Posted by Cybil on May 1, 2017

Why do you love audiobooks? That was the question we recently asked our fellow readers. And your answers ran the gamut of making commutes more interesting, letting you complete more books, making chores fly by, or make that run a bit easier. If you're new to audiobooks, you may find some inspiration below. We'd also love to know why you love to listen to your books.

Check out all of the responses on our Twitter and Facebook pages. In addition, here are 12 of our favorites from your comments:

Audiobooks Allow You to Read More:

"It used to be because of a long commute. Now it's to read more books. I like to listen while I clean, grocery shop, or drive," wrote Bobbi Jo DeBruin.

"I started listening to audiobooks because my insomnia was so bad. I wouldn't think of getting in bed without my ear phones and a good book. Then I started listening when doing other things. Made me feel so efficient to be getting more things done and a book read at the same time. Then there were always books I didn't want to put down, so I started listening in the car on my way back and forth from work. Then I started listening when getting dressed in the morning. Now I am listening to books almost any time I am not in conversation with another actual human. I love audiobooks! It is actually a very special treat to read a physical book at this point. I just don't have much sitting time," wrote Sheila Warner.

"I can read more books if I'm in two different mediums at the same time! Audio in the car, print at home. Also, there are a ton of amazing narrators! Wil Wheaton, Jim Dale, Steven Fry, Zachary Quinto…" wrote Bonfire.

Audiobooks Add Another Layer to a Story:

"I loved being read to as a child. My parents read to me, and my grandmother did, too. I loved reading to my own children, even after they were able to read well on their own. I was a children's librarian for half my teaching career, and loved watching my students' faces as I read. (It also gave me an outlet for my love of "acting.") I love to listen to books when I work out, drive, or when my hands are otherwise occupied by knitting or cooking. I still love print, but I would have trouble doing without my audiobooks," wrote Susan Heydlauff Ray.

"Another layer of theatricality, depending on the reader, can put new energy into an old work, without the distressing subversion of characters' imagined appearances," wrote Nate Ragolia.

"I love reading and being read to, but my to-read list is waaay too long to wait until I have the time to sit and pick up every book. I can listen while I'm doing chores after the house has gone to sleep. And some books actually benefit from being read aloud. I love Neil Gaimin reading his own stuff because he'll read it as he meant it and not always how I interpreted it in my head. If I truly love an audiobook, I buy the printed version and read it again," wrote Kathy Young Zeiler.

"Audiobooks add dimension to the story, take me back to childhood years when family members would read to me," wrote Jamae Ann Sabangan.

Audiobooks Are Great Way to Make Life Just a Bit Easier:

"I have Tourette's syndrome that comes and goes. One summer an eye blinking tic got so bad I couldn't read. Audiobooks were my saving grace," wrote Lauren Conrad.

"Because life happens and you can't always sit and what's your next choice? Listen to the book, that's what. Housework is piled up? Put a book in and get to cleaning," wrote Daniele Ruiter.

"Use it as my 'walking carrot.' The longer and more frequently I take a walk the more of that book I get to hear," wrote Sarah Cooper.

"I have a learning disability and it's easier for me to take in the content if I listen. I also read books but it takes longer," wrote Ashleigh Myers.

"Because you can lose yourself in a story, without losing an entire day," wrote Kelly Seefeldt.

Why do you love audiobooks? Tell us in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
Readers to the Rescue: Your Best Book Club Tips
25 Big Books of Spring
Celebrating the Joy of Rereading a Favorite Book
Most Anticipated YA Books of 2017

Comments Showing 1-50 of 122 (122 new)

message 1: by Lee (new)

Lee I love both reading and listening to books. In some cases I do both for the same book. It can be a totally different and unique experience.
Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to' as a drop down option? I'd like the option to mark a book as more than just read or currently reading.
I'm a big fan of both Goodreads and Audible.

message 2: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Paradis I started a cleaning business 5 years ago and got tired of the same radio programs....then I found audio books and it's changed me life. I've always enjoyed reading but now I hear at least 2 audio books a week! But what's even more interesting is that I've tripled what I usual use to's like I have to be reading as much as possible!!
I love good reads!!

message 3: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Johnston I started reading audiobooks after my mother died and I had long 5-hour drives to my hometown over a period of a year to settle her estate. I started listening to Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series and found myself laughing out loud in the car. That helped so much to lessen my sadness and take my mind off things I needed to do. I've been hooked ever since on audiobooks and many times I've sat in the driveway listening for the end of a chapter or disc. Many of the books I listen to are enhanced by the narrator's use of accents or inflection and I get a different image in my mind of the look or manner of that person vs. when I physically read a book, but I still do love to have a real book in my hands. Now I pick and choose which ones I'll read in book form and which I'll listen to. With the Goodreads challenge, I can also read more books.

message 4: by Jean (new)

Jean Lee wrote: "I love both reading and listening to books. In some cases I do both for the same book. It can be a totally different and unique experience.
Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to'..."

Oh my goodness. Same here! =D And I'd adore having that option too.

message 5: by Moira (new)

Moira Jean wrote: "Lee wrote: "I love both reading and listening to books. In some cases I do both for the same book. It can be a totally different and unique experience.
Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or ..."

Yes, same here. It is easier I find, to go back in an e-book or a book to check names, places or events.. especially when names are unfamiliar to me, or when not sure of the order of events.

message 6: by Olga (new)

Olga I find myself in many of the reasons above, but I have a special one as well. I've had tinnitus for 18 months now. Even though I've mostly gotten used to the noises by now, when I'm particularly keyed up, it's really hard to calm down enough to fall asleep because I tend to focus on the ear noises more. Listening to a book makes me focus on the story and not the beeping, slowly lulling me to sleep. The next morning I need to figure out what the last thing I heard was, but it's a small price to pay.

message 7: by Gail (new)

Gail Hagans Olga wrote: "I find myself in many of the reasons above, but I have a special one as well. I've had tinnitus for 18 months now. Even though I've mostly gotten used to the noises by now, when I'm particularly ke..."

I hit the bookmark on the program right before I close my eyes to try and sleep - worse case you just have to go back to the bookmark and re-listen to a little bit! :)

message 8: by Barbara (last edited May 03, 2017 02:12PM) (new)

Barbara I have dry eye syndrome and find it hard to read - especially at night. I also have arthritis in my hands. Audio books to the rescue! They help me fall asleep forgetting all the worries of the day. I love the sleep timer.

I am sometimes disappointed when I have been listening to a series for a long time and suddenly the next one is not on Audible (or anywhere else downloadable.)

message 9: by Eliza (new)

Eliza Yaaay! I'm so happy to see some people like me with learning disabilities represented here. Audiobooks are awesome when my eyes are too tired from school to read for fun (which is all the time).

message 10: by Annie (new)

Annie B. All of the above stated reasons. Plus, my eyesight has declined inspiteof having had cataract surgery for both eyes. That is really the main reason but also because it's like listening to a play. Some of the readers are simply magnificent and make the story come alive. I am always disappointed when a book I truly want to read does not come in audible form.

message 11: by Krystle (Kuri) (last edited May 03, 2017 11:04PM) (new)

Krystle (Kuri) Lee wrote: "Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to'..."

I second this!!

message 12: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Krystle wrote: "Lee wrote: "Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to'..."

I second this!!"

I just went into my booklist and created my own tag 'Listened to' and assigned those books I have listened to their own tag. I had not realized that I had listened to so many.

message 13: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Helson Lee wrote: "I love both reading and listening to books. In some cases I do both for the same book. It can be a totally different and unique experience.
Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to'..."

I created a Bookshelf specifically for Audiobooks so that I could keep track of the ones I listened to vs. read!

message 14: by Karen (new)

Karen I love audible books because I like to read but sometimes my eyes are to tired so I just close my eyes and sit back and listen. I also love to listen at bed time because it relaxes me so I can fall sleep.

message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I used to read a lot since childhood, but after the birth of my second child it wasn't possible anymore. It took me almost one year to read a single book and yet, I loved the characters and wanted to finish it!
If one's days are too short between work, family and house, audio-books are the perfect solution.
I also listen to books in the bus to work, while knitting. I don't have to choose anymore between my two favourite hobbies! :-)

message 16: by Aurelia (new)

Aurelia Scott What a good idea to create a 'listened' bookshelf. I just did the same, because half or more of the books I read are actually books I've listened to. Sometimes, I also listen to books I've already read or vis-a-versa. For instance, Colm Toibin's Nora Webster was amazing to read, and then I was carried away by Fiona's Shaw's audiobook narration. I feel so lucky that I get to listen audiobooks as part of my work!

message 17: by Pocket Watch (new)

Pocket Watch Purveyor Barbara wrote: "I have dry eye syndrome and find it hard to read - especially at night. I also have arthritis in my hands. Audio books to the rescue! They help me fall asleep forgetting all the worries of the day...."
I started using audio books because of dry eye syndrome. I have found great relief using a moist heat eye mask morning and evening. That presented me with the perfect opportunity to meditate or listen to audio books.

message 18: by Sue (new)

Sue I'm 60 years old and I have dry eye syndrome. I can read paper books for a while, then go onto my Kindle (with enlarged font), but eventually the eyes have had it for the day. Then I grab my MP3 player with my audio books on it. If I'm driving an audiobook beats anything broadcast on the radio these days. Also, if you are traveling on a bus or train, you can listen to what you want to hear instead of the folks chatting & clicking on their phones. And the people who think nothing of interrupting you as you read a paper book or a Kindle are less likely to bother you when they see the headphones/earbuds. Plus it's entertaining when you are listening to something funny and start laughing and the folks around you stare at you like you've gone mad ... because they didn't hear it. The entertainment never ends. :)

message 19: by comfort (new)

comfort I find reading a book such a great indulgence that I feel guilty within myself to just sit and read. (I should be doing something!). Audiobooks are the ideal solution. I can enjoy a book AND do the gardening AND do the cleaning AND go for a walk. Audiobooks has been my savior.

message 20: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Audiobooks really help with reading slumps. If I don't feel like looking at the words, I can listen to the book instead. I also enjoy having my drives feel more productive, as I'm a delivery driver and spend a lot of time in the car.

message 21: by Lori (new)

Lori JR Ward hands down has the best audio books. Jim Frangione who reads her books is outstanding. Audio books are great when you are at work and need a little step in your day to keep you motivated. They are great on trips and portable.

message 22: by Natasha (new)

Natasha I always have 3 books going at a time. One paperback or hardback (still my favourite medium); one ebook on my kindle and one audiobook. So now, no matter where I am or what I am doing, I can get lost in a story.

message 23: by Zohal (new)

Zohal Audio books are great if you learn best through listening. They can make it easier to comprehend a story and sometimes you can envision the details better. I have found that audio books add to the sensory experience.

It makes it feel like you are sitting with others around a campfire and being told a story.

message 24: by N.E.C.C. (new)

N.E.C.C. I read and listen at the same time for every book. Audiobooks were the thing i needed it to fell in love with books and because i get distracted very easly i have to do both. But i love it, for me it's imposible to read a book without the audiobook, is the perfect combination.

message 25: by Katie (new)

Katie Pagan In high school I used to notice that it was easier to read and comprehend the books we were assigned if you read them out loud. Audiobooks are a godsend for me because my mind races a lot, and for me it can be hard sometimes to focus on a book by sight-reading only. With audiobooks, I can drown out the noise in my head and just focus on the book, which means I actually get to experience that unique pleasure of getting lost in a great story.

message 26: by Sumeet (new)

Sumeet Mahendra I've listened a few books as Audio books and the experience is quite amazing...!

message 27: by Chitra916 (new)

Chitra916 I love and prefer audiobooks as I can listen while driving or while doing your chores at the same time and finish more books than physically sit and read! It has completely changed my life and I am hooked on books! You will always see me listening to books!

message 28: by Adriana (new)

Adriana Lorraine wrote: "Lee wrote: "I love both reading and listening to books. In some cases I do both for the same book. It can be a totally different and unique experience.
Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or ..."

Me too. I find it's a good way to keep track of them.

message 29: by [deleted user] (last edited May 07, 2017 09:51PM) (new)

What can I add, except I love, love audiobooks!! You can totally immerse yourself in the story and the performer can make or break any audiobook. A poor reader just drains the life right out of any book. I love to read as well and like most of you I do both at the same time. What a blessing for the library and Overdrive with all the audiobooks available.

message 30: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri I can never stay awake during audiobooks - it's like listening to a boring college lecture. :(

Terence M - [back to abnormal] When I first retired, I started a part-time business which involved driving interstate, generally Melbourne to Sydney (about 875 kms) and return and quite often Adelaide and Brisbane. I started with one return trip a week but it built fairly quickly to a minimum of two trips and sometimes three a week. I have fully retired now but I can account for a little over 2 million kilometres of driving in the intervening time. I used to listen to my favourite music, classical and jazz, but I found that after a short while music tended to just exist in the background, heard but not listened to and my mental health became an issue - see later paragraph.

The thing that kept me sane was listening to audiobooks. First I bought a few but they are prohibitively expensive when you listen to at least two and often three books a week. I visited my local or regional library and borrowed whatever was attractive and recorded them onto my Apple iPod. Pretty soon I had listened to almost every audiobook in the library, so they sent me to their main library from which audiobooks were distributed to six regional libraries. I had a very good arrangement with the librarians there and they have been most accommodating with regard to my listening passion.

I say "kept me sane" because when driving hundreds of thousands of kms a year it is very easy to slip into the habit of negative thinking as I did. "What if I had done this?", "What if I had said that", "If only I had .... etc." Hundreds of hours eaten up thinking about the past, none of which can be changed; hundreds more hours worrying about the present and the future. I can promise you: listening to audiobooks kept me sane. They also provided thousands and thousands of hours of enjoyment without distracting me from my driving.

Like Natasha above, I have at least three books on the go at one time: a "real" hard back or paper back, an ebook on my Kobo and an audiobook on my iPod.

message 32: by Nique (new)

Nique Lee wrote: "I love both reading and listening to books. In some cases I do both for the same book. It can be a totally different and unique experience.
Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to'..."

Love that idea!

message 33: by PointyEars42 (new)

PointyEars42 Lee wrote: "Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to'..."

Great idea to indicate the change in format.

As someone who gets motion sick reading street signs when I'm in a moving vehicle, I can listen to a book during my commute without me having to worry about feeling ill all day. Audio books have given me back hours of otherwise wasted time every day.

In addition, switching to audio sometimes helps me get through a book I might otherwise DNF, and I feel better when I do DNF a book knowing that even a great voice couldn't make the book palatable.

message 34: by Kai (new)

Kai I started listening to audiobooks because it helps me with with my grammar. English is not my primarily language and when I'm not thinking hard enough, I use the wrong tenses.

Reading is great but I tends to gloss over the story and still be able to go back to a certain scene in the book. With audiobooks, I really can't gloss over and it is too much work to find that particular scene. Hence, I pay attention to the audiobook more.

message 35: by Lulu (new)

Lulu I started listening to audiobooks after running out of audio plays to listen to. I used to commute to work everyday. A good narrator could make an average book more exciting. Hard to abandon a book when the narrator is amazing. Although a bad narrator ruins the book.
Love whispersync books, this specially with difficult or science fiction books (English is not my first language). Also when the narrator can't be bothered with changing his voice/tone for different characters. Which makes me appreciate those who do. How do they not get mixed up reading 5 or 10 characters with different tones?

message 36: by Marie (new)

Marie I'm not convinced but I must try....

message 37: by Rowan (new)

Rowan I love audiobooks because I have cognitive issues that occaisonally make it hard for me to focus on long chunks of text. Audiobooks and text-to-speech programs let me enjoy books just the same as everyone else.

message 38: by Lulu (new)

Lulu Marie wrote: "I'm not convinced but I must try...."

I think if you haven't tried any, you should start with a funny book or easy going one. Nothing too heavy or you will get bored. A great narrative that will hook you up.
What books/genre do you like?

message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Audible is making such efforts for publicity ... but to be honest it's really hard to catch up with words in audiobooks especially with the books read for the first time .... so far I have only read the Harry Potter books in audiobooks and it was so worth it .... but because it was a reread for me and time passed by and I was done with seven books while I was doing something else ... totally makes it possible to utilise your time ...but isn't the case with every circumstances sadly

message 40: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Bizjak I'm a slow reader so audiobooks help me get through lots of books I also work about an hour away from home so I listen to light hearted books in my car. Classics and literary audiobooks I listen to at home so I concentrate more. I mostly get them from the library or bought a few.

message 41: by Edwin (new)

Edwin Blair Where to begin? My first audio book listen, was during a long bout of insomnia sometime back, I was told reading at night amongst other things would help but I literally lacked the energy and willpower to read any physical book, naturally because of the lack of quality rest I was not getting. I had a cd copy of Paradise Lost, and one night decided to play it, lay in bed and relax. A Love affair ensued thereafter. It eased my insomnia and it sparked up nostalgia of my grade school days. Memories of the love & warm comforting feelings I felt when our teacher read to us, vividly resurfaced. I then began to, not only listening to audiobooks before bed but on my commute to work, long drives, and even at the beach. I even added both listening to and reading the physical book simultaneously just for good measure. This practice enhanced my reading experience ten-fold, it helped me improve on the proper spelling and pronunciation of foreign names of people and places otherwise difficult to properly pronounce. It also improved the speed and cadence of which I read at naturally, with no loss of comprehension nor retention. I also love the advantage it affords me of getting so much more pleasure reading in, at such a fast pace, thanks to the available feature that allows you to increase the speed at which the narrator reads. Then best of all is the awesome convenience for the blind, elderly and those who's eyesight/vision quality is on the decline and cannot read in the traditional way to STILL enjoy great prose, their old favorites, and the hottest new books trending, all the same.

message 42: by Arya (last edited May 08, 2017 04:12AM) (new)

Arya Ludo When I was young, my mother was always ill, and since we lived in a small town, we would drive long distances to better hospitals. We would always listen to the Harry Potter series. Sometimes those long car rides were the only time we spent as a family. Since then, I've always loved Audio books and podcasts, in and out of the car.

message 43: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Listening to books offers a completely different experience. However, it depends how it is read/narrated.
I enjoyed listening to Trevor Noah reading his autobiography, his pronunciation of the words in his native language which I would not be able to read properly by myself, his natural accentuation of events and words which I might have not grasped as such.
On the other hand, I could not finish The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. The narrator kept culminating the sentences where there was no need of it, reading too fast and unclear in some instances, which did not allow me to get really into the narration.
Anyway, I love listening to audio books, especially while I'm walking my dog in the park.

message 44: by Arwen (new)

Arwen My first audiobook was due to insomnia, like many other users here. I listened to The Return of the Native read by the great Alan Rickman and his wonderful voice lulled me to sleep easily. Now I mostly listen to audiobooks while working on the computer or doing cross stitch, it enables me to do my two favorite pastimes at the same time! I don't listen to audiobooks while driving, though, as I fear I would focus too much on the book and not enough on the road.

message 45: by Kenn (new)

Kenn Anderson I get a lot of windshield time traveling with my job. Audiobooks are a great way for me to pass the time. I now find myself listening while working on the computer in the hotel room.

message 46: by Michael (last edited May 08, 2017 05:12AM) (new)

Michael I agree with all the points raised! And a good narrator will take a great book and make it even better. I'm so fortunate to have Tim Gerard Reynolds as the narrator for my fantasy books. Even if you aren't interested in my books, try any of Tim's other titles (I also highly recommend Red Rising by Pierce Brown), and there are some free shorts (The Jester and Professional Integrity) that you can pick-up.

message 47: by Sunny (new)

Sunny Shore I have discovered audiobooks only in the last few years. I am a retired librarian and always read hardcovers but now I have two going - one audiobook in the car and one on my kindle. I drive enough to different places in a day to have time to listen, even though I am not commuting. They are all different presentations and the voice of the narrator, etc. are important elements in the success of the audiobook. I get them from the library and love to just take a chance on books. Love the author Eliz. Enright, so found one of her audiobooks, but first I am listening to The 4 Agreements (title?) by Hector Ruiz. A short one. Love listening to Joyce Carol Oates audiobooks, but I read hers too. Have done short stories and novels but would like to do more biographies and nonfiction.

message 48: by Shauna (new)

Shauna I love audiobooks! I can continue to read while I make art, do my chores, etc. I do this more than watching TV. I go easily back and forth between reading and listening. I even track down the audio to a book I've read for ease of "re-reading".

message 49: by Amy (new)

Amy Lee wrote: "I love both reading and listening to books. In some cases I do both for the same book. It can be a totally different and unique experience.
Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to'..."

Krystle wrote: "Lee wrote: "Any chance Goodreads will add 'audiobook or listened to'..."

I second this!!"

I have asked GoodReads for a dropdown twice since Kindle was allowed to do it. I was thanked for my suggestions.

message 50: by Andy (new)

Andy I love audiobooks, especially if the narration is on point, as it brings the story to life! I walk to work, so they're great to listen to on the commute. Might explain why I'm sometimes late in the mornings and in no rush to get home!

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