Now, listen here…

I’m not going to lie, the idea of audiobooks has never really appealed to me. What was the point? They couldn’t possibly give me the same satisfaction as reading a physical book, holding it in my hands, turning the pages, losing myself in the story. Then one day I received an email, a free thirty-day trial on Audible. I can never resist a freebie, so I gave it a go. The first book I downloaded was a disaster. It bored me. I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t like the story. I hated the experience, even though everyone was raving about the novel, even though it was going to be made into a film! My dream. Every author’s dream. But I simply couldn’t get into it. I kept drifting off, thinking about other things, then losing the gist of the story when I eventually fell back into the loop. No, I said to my husband, it’s not for me. However, a few days later I decided to give it another try because you can exchange a book and pick another, and low and behold, I loved it!

I can now be found listening to books whilst I’m floating around the house with a fluffy duster, scrubbing the bathroom until it sparkles, or doing the loathsome ironing. It just makes all the household chores …. Okay, steady on, nothing will make housework enjoyable. But listening to books does make it all seem less tedious.

So, yes, I’m now an audiobook fan. Admittedly, I don’t enjoy them as much as reading but I like them and they do have their place. So, why the initial hatred? It was a combination of several things really. And now that I know my preferences I tend to choose wisely. The narrator is important. If I don’t like the voice, I can’t listen, even if the book is a bestseller, even if I love the author’s work. And, as with reading, the story and the voice of the author has to grab me from the onset, perhaps even more so with audiobooks, because you need to concentrate that little bit more and can easily be distracted.

I only listen to audiobooks when I’m doing household chores, but some friends have told me that they listen whilst they’re driving, during their commute, whilst they’re pounding away on the treadmill, out walking, knitting, cooking, gardening, or even doing a jigsaw puzzle. There definitely is a place for audiobooks in my life, and the bonus is that I can now have two or three books on the go – a paperback, a kindle and an audiobook. Happy days.

If you fancy having a go, Audible run a 30 day free trial offer and, listen to this (no pun), you get to keep the book you download during the trial period regardless of whether you keep your subscription or not. After 30 days you will have to pay the full price of £7.99 per month. I do enjoy being a member of Audible and they do give you some quite good offers at regular intervals, including some great free podcasts. I’ve listened to Derren Brown’s Boot Camp and Real Crime, so far.

However, if you want to listen to books for free, ask your library for a passcode and download the Libby app. Libraries have many fabulous audiobooks on offer. You get to listen for seven days. If you don’t finish within that time, you can borrow again, providing no one else is waiting for it. If you’re a member of Netgalley, or if you’d like to sign up, they’re now offering some audiobooks to review too.

You can listen to audiobooks on your phone, iPad, tablet, or computer. I usually listen on my iPhone or hook it up to Alexa. Want to give it a try? You can sign up to Audible here. Happy listening!

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