2015 was a great reading year for me. I managed to make my way through 125 books; 25 over my goal of 100 for the year. Despite how busy I was- moving across the country and then beginning my job hunt- I found something that kept me from falling in a reading slump and kept my brain busy through long plane rides and train commutes.
I’ve dabbled in audiobooks in the past. Tina Fey’s Bossypants kept me laughing through a 2 hour drive home during my school’s winter break one year. Similarly, Mindy Kaling’s first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? helped get me through the drive to and from my college campus for a couple of weeks. I loved these books because I loved the authors and the fact that they were the ones narrating these stories made me feel as though I were listening to podcasts.
Last year I continued my audiobook trend and picked up Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me? Both were fantastic as I had expected but they made me realize something- if I could listen to autobiographies by my favorite actresses, why not fiction or other nonfiction books? And thus began my exploration of the audiobook format.
I started with nonfiction as it had been the genre that had introduced me to the wonder of listening to my books. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer was tough to listen to due to the subject matter but I was glad that I had once I’d finished it. It was something that I knew I would have struggled to read through in a text format but thanks to the audiobook I was able to speed through it when I was driving or doing laundry. Running became something that I enjoyed doing as I worked my way into fiction with A Game of Thrones. The tiny print of the mass-market paper back no longer held me back from delving into the original story that inspired my favorite show.
I listened to audiobooks around the house as I unpacked from the move (a task that seemed never ending) and did chores that I would normally have wanted to put off. My commute went by too quickly when I found a book that I really enjoyed. I found myself dragging my feet as I trudged off of the train, hoping to get to the end of a chapter before having to tune back into the real world.
Though last year should have been the year that I failed to meet my reading goal, I was able to surpass it and I’d like to think that audiobooks helped me do that. Even as I sit typing this post, I have a few books downloading to my phone so I can have something nice to listen to while I run.
For those of you who have doubts about liking the audiobook format, I would say to give it a try! I honestly thought it would be an occasional listen for me when a favorite celebrity put out a new book but now I find myself reaching for my headphones first when a new book that I want to read comes out. Sites like Audible have 30 day free trials for new users. I personally am a fan of Scribd which is a subscription site that has ebooks as well as audiobooks.
Here are some great audiobook reads (listens?) if you aren’t sure of where to start:
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Girl Who Slept with God: A Novel by Val Brelinski
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin