I wish I could say I was one of those people who always had her head in a book. I love reading. It’s a big passion of mine, but sometimes it seems like life just gets in the way.
I always find myself wishing I had more time to devote to reading. Every year I set a goal to read a certain number of books, but I never end up reaching that goal.
So how can I read more books with the little free time I have?
Here’s my secret weapon: audiobooks.
I started reading audiobooks a few years ago, and it has helped me double the number of books I read. I know not everyone is a fan of audiobooks, and I’ll admit it isn’t the same experience as holding a book in your hands and turning pages. But if you haven’t tried them, you should.
Here are my three tips for getting the most out of audiobooks:
1. Choose the right book
Not every book will be the right candidate for an audiobook. If it’s a book you really want to pay attention to and glean every detail from, then stick to the print version. For audiobooks, choose books you aren’t as invested in.
When you’re listening to an audiobook on the go, you’re probably doing something else and that something else can sometimes be distracting. If your attention is stolen for a few seconds, you may miss a few lines from your book. So if you choose a book that’s more of a relaxed read, then it won’t be as big of a deal.
For me, I like to choose quick, beach-read type books. Chick lit, if you will. Nothing that has a lot of convoluted language. I’ve tried listening to classics, and it just doesn’t work, trust me. For audiobooks, plot is everything, so go for a book that has a great story, over one with great language.
2. Read wherever and whenever you can
If you’re looking to get more books crossed off your reading list, you need to find time anywhere you can. Anytime you have a few free moments or are doing an activity where you can afford to listen to something, turn your audiobook on.
The place I listen to audiobooks the most is in my car. When you have a long commute, a good audiobook makes the ride much easier. And with today’s technology, it’s easy to hook your phone up to your car’s audio system.
Other great places to listen to audiobooks are at the gym, on public transportation or even when you’re cleaning your house or doing other chores at home.
3. Take advantage of your library
Listening to audiobooks doesn’t have to put you out a ton of money. Your library is free and probably has a pretty good selection of audiobooks you can take advantage of. Check if your library is connected to Overdrive. Overdrive is a free app that allows you to check out audiobooks and e-books from your local library, in the same way you would regular print books.
Just be aware, if you’re looking for a specific book, especially if it’s a popular one, you may have to jump on a waiting list. Also, if it takes you longer than two weeks to get through an audiobook, you’ll have to get back on that waiting list. This often causes me to be in the middle of two, three or even four books at once.
If that doesn’t sound worth the wait to you, you could always check out Audible.com. I have not used Audible myself, but I know they have a large selection of audiobooks. The only catch is you have to pay for them.