Tips for Listening to Audiobooks (Top Ten Tuesday on a Wednesday)

I have not felt like blogging AT ALL lately. My mind is feeling busy juggling a lot of small family things, reading (which makes me happy), decluttering/spring cleaning, and daydreaming about the summer. I am also in the middle of a big EXCITING project that I will talk about more sometime soon. Anyway, the blog has fallen by the wayside and I’m okay with that.

That being said – I couldn’t resist this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from That Artsy Reader Girl. Audio freebie! In the past year or two, I have REALLY gotten into audiobooks. I would say I am probably listening to one at all times – at least every day whenever I can. Here are 10 tips I have for trying out audiobooks if you think it’s something you want to incorporate in your life, but you haven’t had success with yet.

1) Use Bluetooth headphones. I have these ones, but there are hundreds out there now. I know a lot of people who use iPhones like Airpods, but I have never tried them. I can walk around the house cleaning and still be listening to my book at all times. I can listen to my book when I’m shoveling snow or mowing the lawn or out for a run or walk. These are an awesome investment.

2) Speed up the book. I am a fast reader so listening to audiobooks at 1x speed feels like molasses to me. I usually start a book off at 1.75 speed to get a feel for the narrator and then speed it up to 2x or 2.25. My family thinks this sounds like gibberish, but you get used to it pretty fast and it makes a 10-hour audiobook go by in 5 hours.

3) Be picky about the narrator. You can listen to a sample of most audiobooks, and some narrators just don’t work for me so I know I’ll be turning to those books in print instead.

4) Use Libby and Hoopla!! I rarely pay for audiobooks. I have had audible in the past but I always felt like I had to pick an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING book to use a credit on and they just kept piling up. Most books I wanted to listen to on Audible were available at my library with a waitlist, so I never felt like I should spend a credit on them. When my library finally got Hoopla about a year ago, my audiobook consumption went up even more because you can get a book instantly (up to 5 a month, in my case). I always have a few books on hold in overdrive/libby via my library and usually have one or two selected from Hoopla too.

5) Listen to audiobooks when you are busy doing a mindless task. I always joke that audiobooks have made my chores so much more enjoyable. Washing dishes several times a day? Not my favourite thing to do. Listening to books? One of my favourite things to do….so if I listen to my book while I’m washing dishes and cleaning up after supper, I barely even notice that I’m cleaning. The same thing goes for driving. I am fortunate to not have to spend TONS of time commuting in the car but I’d say I do have about an hour or two a week in the car to listen to a book and it makes the time pass much faster.

6) Listen to audiobooks in genres that you want to listen to but have a hard time holding your attention. When I first started listening to audiobooks, I listened almost exclusively to non-fiction and the classics. I still find that I prefer the classics in audio format and I wish so much that I had listened to audio versions of some of these books when I was in university instead of falling asleep while trying to read Shakespeare. Overall, I find most non-fiction more interesting as an audiobook and I love that many of the classics are now available performed by famous (and talented) actors! I am currently listening to Anne of Green Gables narrated by Rachel McAdams and it is absolutely wonderful.

7) Don’t hesitate to check out other free audiobook sources. I know I just mentioned sticking to Hoopla and Libby, but I have also listened to a couple of books via YouTube (these are books in the public domain, mostly). I just make sure to do that at home and not while I’m on the go since they can’t be downloaded but have to be streamed over the internet. This has worked great for kid’s books too. Librivox is another great resource for audiobooks in the public domain.

8) Sign up for a one-month trial to get a free audiobook you really want to listen to. I’ve done this before with Audible, but some other options for audiobook listening are Scribd, Playster,, Rakuten Kobo, Audiobooks Now, and is 0.99 for the first month but it also allows you to give back to your community, which is great.

9) Watch for Audible’s sales and daily deals. Also, if you own a kindle version of a book (or if you have Kindle unlimited and you’ve borrowed that book), the audio version is often significantly discounted so keep an eye out for that. I love reading a book and listening simultaneously – I get through books pretty quickly that way. Nadine also shared a great site called Chirp that I was really excited about following (audiobook deals) but it only allows you access if you’re American – which I was SO disappointed about.

10) Share audiobooks! You can always send someone their first audible book (from your library) for free. Here’s a tutorial for how to do it. I’ve done this with a few friends who really wanted to listen to a particular book.

Bonus: I’ve mentioned a lot of these before, but here are some audiobooks I’ve loved in the past few years:

The Martian
The Shadow of the Wind
Harry Potter series
A Man Called Ove
Children of Blood and Bone
The Hate U Give
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Talking as Fast as I Can
Year of Yes
Daring Greatly 
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride
Born a Crime
Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series (note: the original narrator died after book 10 so there is a new one who I also really like)
When Breath Becomes Air 

Audiobooks I’ve heard are excellent but I read and have not yet listened to:

Daisy Jones & The Six (full cast)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (also full cast)
Big Little Lies 

I’ll share 14 audiobooks on my TBR on Friday!!!

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