Get Lost in the Story

Some days the quiet is just too much. You need something to listen to – while cleaning, while gardening, while taking another walk. Enter audiobooks.  Audiobooks can spin a story or help you learn something while you are engaged in another activity. I love that audiobooks help me move through my to-be-read list while I accomplish something else.

Here are some suggestions on how audiobooks can help fill your days.

Boost Literacy Skills

If you have a beginning reader in your household, audiobooks can help them as they learn to read. They can listen to the story as they follow along in a digital or print book. Or they can listen to a book they wouldn’t be able to read on their own, which will help boost their vocabulary and comprehension skills. They also might learn that they really, really like Harry Potter so they’ll read all the print or ebooks later.

Check out this list of Hoopla Read Alongs and this list from OverDrive. They may look like ebooks, but when you read them it will narrate the text as you flip the pages.

Take a Quick Listen Break

Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a long book, or I just want to listen to something upbeat while I’m sweeping the floor.  Audiobooks like NPR’s Driveway Moments series are great for when I don’t have the time or the attention span for something long.  These literate, intelligent, humorous and sometimes profoundly touching stories gathered from the archives of NPR programs are perfect.

Experience the Theater of the Mind

Do you miss going to the theatre? LA Theatre Works records audio versions of plays like Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet and California Suite. Listening to them is just like experiencing a top notch play – minus the expensive ticket price. We also have audio dramas that used to air on the radio. These dramas could be a lot of fun for families to listen to together – just like they used to long ago.

Try an audiobook narrated by one of your favorite actors. I’ve heard Tom Hank’s reading of The Dutch House is fantastic. I felt like I was in the story listening to Sissy Spacek read To Kill a Mockingbird. You can also geek out to Will Wheaton reading Ready Player One.
All you need is some popcorn!

Connect to Others

While listening to audiobooks may seem like a solo activity, there are many ways you could share your listening with others. Find a great book or audio drama for the entire family to listen to together. You’ll make memories and have something new to talk about.

Some book groups even use audiobooks for “walk and listen” outings. Normally the group would meet, listen to the book while they walk, and then stop to discuss it. Right now you can listen while walking individually, and then set up a Zoom chat, FB group or conference call to talk about it.

View complete list

Finding Your Next Listen

One of my favorite sources to find books to listen to is AudioFile magazine, which is devoted entirely to audiobooks. There is also a dedicated award – the Audie Awards that are given to the best audiobooks in different categories each year. I listened to the audiobook of the Year last year – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. The and the narrator, Bahni Turpin, did a fantastic job of voicing this fantasy with African roots. You should also check out the lists our library staff are putting out on OverDrive and our catalog. We’re also happy to give you personalized listening suggestions on Wednesday evenings on our Facebook page or Friday evenings on Twitter.

My current audiobook listen is The Warden and the Wolf King by Andrew Peterson. It’s the last book of the fantastic Wingfeather Saga. It’s a fantasy adventure that fans of The Chronicles of Narnia would definitely enjoy. There are dragons, heroic children and dogs, and a mysterious villain called Nag the Nameless.

Happy listening everyone!

Some of my many roles at the library include: tax form guru, collectibles promoter, inspirational fiction evangelist, adult literacy promoter, Book Group in a Bag cheerleader, So Many Books book discussion group leader and reader's advisor.