I'm not too proud to admit that I'm a converted audiobook lover. As in, I didn't always love them. To be completely honest, my prejudice and own silly beliefs had me thinking about audiobooks in a negative way. Why?
Because I thought it was cheating.
As someone who has been a voracious reader of physical books my entire life, I couldn't imagine that audiobooks could touch the magic that is reading. Some will use the argument that the same could be said for ebooks -- but I don't agree. I think reading, whether it's on paper or a screen is relatively the same (at least for me and in my opinion). But audiobook? Well, just lump those in with movies, I thought. It can't possibly be the same! I would chuckle when I heard family or friends say that they were listening to an audiobook and enjoying it. I thought, hmm okay, maybe for a long drive where you have no choice BUT to listen to something...
I know, I know. It was terrible of me. I did tell you I would always be honest, right? So this is me admitting that I was wrong. That I was naive and silly for thinking those things. But I'm not the only one!
I recently read an article (which you can find HERE) that says that many voracious readers have felt the same way, but that actual studies have been done to show that not only is audiobook listening almost identical to reading, but that in some cases, it actually gives you a more enjoyable experience than physically reading text. Say what?!?!
I understand this now. It's funny, because before I left my corporate day job to write full time and build my business, I had the PERFECT excuse to listen to audiobooks - a long commute. But because of said above reasons, I never did. But it's incredible what time you can find to listen to audiobook - when you don't think you have time to pick up a physical book. When I'm working on something that requires less attention - I turn on an audiobook. Folding laundry? Yup. Taking a hot bath? Yup. Trying to fall asleep at night? Yup.
I've discovered that I can "double dip" and not get confused when I'm reading a physical book and listening to an audiobook. I can get double the fun without having to do extra work? Yes please!
Something else happened when I started listening to audiobooks - it deepened my experience and love of the written word. Sometimes, when we read (especially if we're in a binge-reading session) we forget the language because we're wrapped up in the story (and that's exactly what's SUPPOSED to happen, mind you), but when you're listening to an audiobook - those beautiful lines stop you cold. I've paused and had to rewind just to listen to it over again because it was heaven to my ears. You know when a book gets adapted to film and you have a line from the book you REALLY love and can't wait to hear it said in the movie? That's how it is with audiobooks, too.
The other thing I discovered is listening to an audiobook when you've already read the book is an amazing experience. You pick up on SO many things you didn't while reading and if the audiobook has a great narrartor, it transports your experience to another dimension. I did this with the Harry Potter series. Listened to them all on audio after reading them a bajillion times - and I can't even begin to describe how magical it felt to hear the stories come alive in a different way than reading the book and watching the movies.
So obviously I've waxed poetic about my love of audiobooks. There are some cons to listening, though I feel that there aren't enough to outweigh the pros. So if you're hestitant... if you're thinking that it might be cheating... I urge you to not make the same mistake I did. Try one (you can try them for free you know!) and give yourself the chance to fall in love with literature in a new way. You will be glad you did!