Earlier this year when I shared tips on how to improve your reading, I included listening to Audiobooks. And with the smugness of an Ignoramus, I immediately dismissed the idea based on my single experience with an audiobook.
The book in question was a pirated copy of The Confidence Code I got about 3 years ago. In my defence, I was as broke as a church rat at the time and there was no way I was buying that book. The fact that it was basically stolen may have also led to my ambivalence about finishing it. Although trying to listen to a 7hr+ book with a music player was doomed to fail from the start; I kept losing my place and after a while, I just forgot about it.
This experience led me to label audiobooks persona non grata in my reading life. That is until I read Tope Owolabi’s review of Luvvie Ajayi’s audiobook on IG and decided to try Audible’s mostly because of the first free book enticement. You see I really wanted to read Stay With Me without actually reading it until I got my copy and this was the perfect way to do it.
One thing led to another and I found myself signing up for a 7.99gbp (N3300) monthly membership. I swear it was an accident, and I wanted to punch myself in the face when I got the notification. However, I can’t really get mad over books, so I got out my headphones and started the journey that has brought me here today.
Audiobooks are now the side chick to my paper books and here are 5 reasons why:
You never stop reading
My morning prep time which until now as been Ed Sheeran’s now belongs to Trevor Noah. I take him to the shower (don’t judge me), the kitchen, running… basically anywhere that keeps my body busy but leave my brain free.
2. It’s a great way to audition books before you splurge on the real deal
In this economy, any way to save a little cash is welcome. Not to mention there’s nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money on a lemon. For example, I discovered The Sellout is not my cup of tea after all. Imagine if I had spent N8000 only to discover that. Now, that would have hurt!
3. You can return audiobooks when you’re done/ don’t like them
This more than anything is what sealed the deal for me. Audible’s membership plan lets you return books after you downloaded them on your device. I mean, as an Ijebu girl I see limitless opportunities with this option. With N3300, I have already read 3 books that would have set me back about N24,000 within the last 7 days. And I’m just warming up.
4. There’s minimum effort required from the reader
Let’s be honest, reading takes an effort, it demands dedication. A really good book consumes all of your senses and while this isn’t a bad thing in itself, there are days when you just don’t feel like making that kind of commitment. With audiobooks, all you need to do is show up.
5. You could be watching a movie
A good narrator armed with a great book will take you on a journey to remember. Right now, I am loving books read by the author. There is no better way to get the story as intended to be told because whether you admit or not, your own experiences shape the way you digest other people’s stories. Besides, I still cringe at the thought of non-Yoruba speaking folks thinking Maami is pronounced Moomi. #shudders
Paper books are not going anywhere soon, contrary to general expectations. However, on those days when you can’t be bothered to read, get someone to read to you. You can try Audible free here, you get your first book free and you get to keep it if you cancel your subscription. Also, you can return a book if you don’t like it even after you’ve downloaded it to your device. No questions asked.
I suggest you give it a try. It’s a great opportunity to read all those great books that never seem to make it to Nigeria without going bankrupt. Especially if you can’t stand E-books. Are you an audiobook lover? Please share your favorites below.