Audiobooks are one of the rising trends in the 21st century.
Although they existed in the 20th century, they weren’t practical; they needed to be abridged, so they could fit in the least amount of tapes or CDs; the production was expensive and therefore the price of the book.
Technological development brought as the ability to record our audiobooks in the improvised studios, not to abridge them, and their price is quite low when you consider all the effort put in.
Just a couple of years ago, I saw audiobooks as something ridiculous and childish. I thought who could listen to someone else reads a book to him. Why would someone do that? Isn’t it easier and better to read the book by yourself, like a grownup?
Back then, I wasn’t aware that the stories are the reason we read; that the stories are something embedded in our DNA, and that we are always going to listen to an interesting story, regardless of the medium in which they come to us.
The stories are somebody else’s experiences with which we sympathize and learn from them.
Three years ago, when I moved to Beijing, I experienced commute for the first time. Unlike Kula, my hometown, where I could bike from one end to the other in 15 minutes, people spend 60 minutes commuting if they’re lucky.
I needed to invest my 90 minutes of commute into something useful but I had only several books in Beijing, which I brought with me from Serbia and I read them in a couple of days.
Then, I decided to subscribe to Scribd, which is an online library or Netflix for books, and I was reading the books on my phone.
Sometime later, I realized that audiobooks were included in my subscription. I was still skeptical about them, but I decided to try them out. The first audiobook I listened to was Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
The narrator was mesmerizing; I listened to 20 something hours of that book in less than a week. I listened to it in the subway, while doing the dishes, taking a shower or anything else mechanical.
Then, I took the next one, and the next one and I turned into a real audiobook freak.
Just like anything else, listening to audiobooks requires practice. Usually, you can’t sit and listen to it for hours. In the beginning, you might try listening to 15 or even 5 minutes in one sitting.
Once you get used to listening, it will be hard to return to the traditional reading.
If you wish to try listening to audiobooks, register at Scribd using this link and you will get 2 months of a free subscription and the unlimited number of audiobooks to listen to.