The Joy of Listening to Books
I will be walking a half marathon in February. As much as I love to walk and find it relaxing, I have found myself putting off the longer weekly walks in the training schedule that will take several hours to complete. This has usually been because I have felt like there were other things I wanted to get done instead. One of these other things has been getting in more reading.
About a week ago I watched the movie You Can Heal Your Life, which is based on the book You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. The movie was well done and inspiring, and made me want to read the book next.
This morning I woke up and decided I would check to see if this book was available as an audiobook. I was happy to find that it was! Today I walked about 8 miles, which took just over 2 and a half hours. At the end of my walk, I was halfway through the book!
Needless to say, I didn’t feel like I was “wasting” those 2 and a half hours. Not only that, but I loved listening to such peaceful and inspiring messages while out for a walk on a cool, crisp, sunny Saturday morning.
When to Choose an Audiobook
The choice between the print and audio format is totally up to you, and the decision will probably take into consideration the type of book and what is going on in your life at the time. I personally have found self-help books read by the authors to be particularly enjoyable. The inspiration experience is enhanced when the actual author is reading his or her words out loud with passion, as they were meant to be heard.
Another great reason to choose audio is if the book is presenting mental exercises, such as meditations or even affirmations. You Can Heal Your Life is full of these types of activities, and it is so nice to hear Ms. Hay herself reading her affirmations with emphases on just the places they were intended.
Sometimes when I’m reading a book that instructs me to close my eyes and then think certain thoughts as narrated by the book text, I wish there was a way I could do both at the same time. With audio, there is.
Audiobooks are great for walking, driving, grocery shopping, folding the laundry, and just about any other household chore you can think of that wouldn’t drown out the reading. This afternoon I plan to finish listening to You Can Heal Your Life while giving our dog a bath.
Listening to Books is Still Reading
Before I read The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen (co-founder of Levenger) several years ago, I didn’t realize that listening to books really “counts” as reading. I thought it was somehow cheating the system. This reminds me of the familiar TV sitcom story of a not so studious kid thinking he cheated on a test because he actually studied and therefore knew the answers.
I have a friend who is well-read and I often wonder how she gets in so much reading. I believe one of her secrets is her one hour commute to and from work each day, during which she listens to audiobooks.
Audiobooks are just as legit as the ones in your hands. Give yourself a break. Go lay down and pop in your headphones, close your eyes, and let your favorite author read his or her words the way they were intended to be heard. Or at least make doing the dishes more enjoyable.
You might even find that your eye-reading experience is enhanced through the ear-reading one. There is room in our lives for both print and audio, and we might find that there is far more time for audio reading than we even realized.
Where to Get Audiobooks
Now that you are convinced of the benefits of listening to audiobooks, where will you find them? I downloaded You Can Heal Your Life from audible, and then accessed the book through the app on my phone. I paid for the book, but I was convinced that it was worth the investment since Louise Hay is kind of the ultimate in self-help, and I was pretty convinced the book would play a role in changing my life.
The library is a great resource for free audiobooks. I used to listen to Wayne Dyer’s audiobooks on CD that I checked out from the library in my car. I recently learned of several apps through the local library that allow you to checkout free downloadable audiobooks for a limited time, similar to checking an actual book out from the library: OneClickdigital and OverDrive.
There is a wonderful world of audiobooks out there just waiting to be invited into your life. Have you felt that you want to get in more reading but weren’t sure where to find the time? Perhaps audiobooks will help solve your problem. What is your favorite way to listen to audiobooks? Please share your thoughts below.
image credit: Rhiallom