Audiobooks are one of the greatest, and more recent, gifts to lifelong learners.
While tapes of books have existed forever, it was not until the past 10 years that we could listen to books on the go, at any moment in time. It was also not until recently that such a wide variety of books were available on audio with the click of a button.
There are many audiobook platforms today including Audible, Audiobooks.com and Scribd. Audible, acquired for $300M by Amazon in 2008, sits at the forefront.
It does not matter which platform you use, though. The emphasis is, rather, on picking one of them due to the tremendous benefits that audiobooks have. Here are six reasons why you should get started listening today:
1. You can read without the physical process of reading.
Some people avoid reading because of a dislike for the physical process of picking up a book. After a long day, the small text and necessary concentration can be challenging even for people who love books.
There is something to be said for that new book smell and the ability to hold something tangible, but audiobooks provide a nice break from physically reading. Instead, someone reads to you. It requires a different type of focus that is often easier to find.
With audiobooks, when you want to read but are too tired for the process, you will have an option to stick in headphones and get a similar experience.
2. There is so much commute time during the day.
Commuting can suck. The average American has just under an hour of total commute time each day. On average, therefore, you could listen to about two books a month (0r 24 in a year!) just going to and from work, assuming average book length.
Instead of feeling like you are wasting valuable parts of your day and week in transport, audiobooks can fill the dead space with something interesting and productive.
3. You will never need a dull moment.
Beyond commutes, there are many other dull moments in the day. This could be the waiting in long lines, waiting for your coffee date to show up or even doing laundry.
There are times when it is nice to let your mind wander, but when you have the energy to learn, you can take advantage of those dull moments with audiobooks.
It can be extremely frustrating to end up in longer-than-expected lines or get stuck waiting to pick up your kid. The opportunity to stick in your headphones and listen to a book during these moments will not only give you more time reading, but it will ease your frustration. Not much is lost in waiting an extra 15 minutes when that time was spent doing something that you enjoy.
4. You will tremendously accelerate your learning.
By venturing into audiobooks, you will be able to read many more books. Taking advantage of all of that dead time will teach you a great deal.
Normally, it can be challenging to keep up your independent learning when life hits. Listening to audiobooks gives you a way to continue doing so without taking dedicated time out of your day to read. You can explore topics that will make you generally smarter and could impact your career. You never know when you might read something that inspires future decisions.
5. It will give you more to talk about with others.
Frequent readers know more about the world and tend to be more interesting. When you are constantly listening to books, you will have more conversation starters and philosophical questions to ask.
In this light, listening to audiobooks can actually make you more social. It can also make you appear more smart and ambitious to those around you. Societally, we have a connotation that those who read are ambitious and smart. By becoming part of that group, it could provide you with greater career and advancement opportunities.
6. Books are one of the greatest treasures we have.
There is so much to learn about the world. Even the smartest people of our time have not come close to understanding everything.
There are also many reasons to back up why it is important to learn. These include the impact on your critical thinking, the more diverse ways in which you will see the world, and the pure enjoyment that comes from learning about topics of interest.
One of the best sources to develop your understanding of the world is in books. The smartest people within every field have shared their knowledge and experiences via books so that others, like you, can learn from them and their mistakes. The accessibility of books is also higher today than ever before.
Audiobooks will, ultimately, help you read more.
This all leads to the conclusion that we should be consuming as many books as we can. Audiobooks are one of the greatest ways to up that number. They allow you to listen whenever you want and their universality is slowly approaching the ability to listen to whatever you want as well.
This is an opportunity to put wasted time to positive use which will boost your intelligence, happiness, and productivity.