I have always been an avid reader. In fact, I have no recollection of not being able to read. By the time I was four I could read picture books with ease and by the time I was six I was visiting the library daily.
When I was 14 years old, I dislocated my elbow and I was unable to hold up a book. During that time, someone was kind enough to recommend the free audiobook service Librivox to me. Librivox is an audiobook service for books in the public domain. I listened to Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Jack and Jill, Little Women, Pollyanna, Pollyanna Grows Up, Sense and Sensibility, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, What Maisie Knew, and others (being able to do almost nothing else).
I continued to listen to audiobooks using Librivox, although not as often, after I recovered. When I was 18, I began working as an Au Pair and I found myself driving for at least an hour and a half every day. This was time where I could listen to music but I felt that it would be better spent listening to audiobooks, so I signed up for Audible and haven’t looked back ever since.
I currently have 135 audiobooks in my Audible library. I haven’t listened to all of them, but I do plan to. I listen to audiobooks on my daily commute, while I wash my dishes and clean my tiny apartment, while I color in or paint, while I lie in bed and am too tired to read a physical book, and more. Of the 18 books I have read this year, half of them have been audiobooks.
Although it is definitely a slower way to consume books (while I can read at a rate of about 70 pages an hour, audiobooks tend to run at a speed of about 36 pages per hour) if I were not to listen to audiobooks, I would not get nearly as many books in as I would like to.
I also find it extremely comforting to listen to someone reading to me. It reminds me of when I was a child and my parents used to read books to me. It also allows me to still be getting the information in when I am too tired to actually read a book.
One of the best tips that I have heard from avid readers is to keep a book with you no matter where you go as this will help you get more reading in while waiting in lines etc. Having my audible library on my phone is the easiest way to do this and allows me to get reading in while I am going, not just in the waiting time.
Finally, I find it to be a great way to keep kids occupied and quiet. I have been listening to audiobooks on the half-hour drive home from school that I do with the kids that I au pair every day and we are about to finish the Harry Potter series. This has given them a good way to relax after a long school day, kept them from fighting on the drive (which keeps me more peaceful), and allowed them to experience one of the greatest worlds ever written.
If you are looking for a good way to boost your reading life I would definitely recommend trying audiobooks.