I absolutely swear by audiobooks. I started listening to them in 2012 when I needed something to make my bike ride to school more entertaining. I purchased my first audiobook, You’re Not Doing it Right by comedian Michael Ian Black, through iTunes. Three years later, according to the audiobook subscription service Audible, I am at the “scholar” level, with only 192 more listening hours before I hit “master” status.
Due to my fanaticism, I am always surprised and saddened at how few people I know listen to audiobooks. As a college student, the audiobook can truly be your best friend. Here are seven reasons why:
1) Avoid Reading Fatigue
After hours of outlining, highlighting, and taking notes, chances are you are not going to reach for another book when it’s break time. Audiobooks allow you to immerse yourself in your favorite stories while resting your eyes and freeing up your hands.
Best Audiobook for Study Breaks: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Whatever your homework situation, at least your classmates aren’t trying to murder you.
2) Hate Your Commute Less
UWT is well-known as a commuter campus and a long or difficult commute can be truly draining. Mitigate this situation by saving your most thrilling audiobook for the most banal part of your day.
Best Audiobook for a Taxing Commute: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Spend all your time being mad at Joffrey instead of being mad at traffic.
3) Get Through Those Huge Books in No Time
Who doesn’t love the satisfaction of finishing a 1000-page behemoth? But finding the time and attention span amid all of life’s distractions can be challenging. Avoid re-reading paragraphs and slowing down through tedious sections by listening to the long stories.
Best Audiobook Over 40 hours: Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett. A historical novel set in the 12th century about the generations-long quest to build the world’s tallest cathedral, zone out while Follett takes you through the minutiae of Gothic architecture and tune back in for the medieval drama.
4) Learn Pronunciation
How many of you, and be honest, pronounced Hermione’s name correctly before the movie came out? And who knew fruition was not pronounced “froo-i-shun?” Not I, I tell you. Not I.
Best Audiobook for Pronunciation: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Set during World War II, visit your bookstore to see how the words you hear are spelled for cheap lessons in German and French. (Example: You’ll hear “Verner” but see “Werner.”)
5) Improve Your Focus
College could be truly summed up in one word: lectures. Some lectures are interactive, informational, and engaging. But we’ve all encountered the long and tedious lecture as well. In a society of 140-character tweets and six-second videos, the struggle to not mentally check out of lectures is real. Audiobooks can greatly develop your lecture-listening skills by requiring you to listen for meaning without visual cues to hold your attention.
Best Audiobook to Help You Focus: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Now nearly infamous for his particularly engaging brand of pseudoscience, Gladwell uses this book to examine factors that may have contributed more to individual success than one would assume. For instance, why is it that the best Canadian hockey players tend to be born in the beginning of the year? Read by the author, Gladwell’s arguments are so surprising and novel that you’ll be enchanted within five minutes.
6) Enjoy Bookstores Without Breaking the Bank
Whether you’re killing some time at the student bookstore or getting cozy at King’s Books, nothing beats the smell, sights, and atmosphere of a building filled with literature. But instead of doling out cash every time, stroll up and down the aisles looking for that cover or blurb that grabs your attention. When you find one that strikes your fancy, download a free sample of the audiobook. If you like the narrator, you’re good to go.
Best Audiobook Narrator: Scott Brick (Try Tom Clancy’s Full Force & Effect by Mark Greaney). This man has a voice of gold. Listen to him long enough and you’ll start narrating your own life in his voice to make it sound dangerous and exciting.
7) Save Trees and Space
While nothing, and I mean nothing, can replace the smell and feel of a book, paper copies could easily be reserved for the most treasured titles.
Best Audiobook to Delete Afterwards: Yes Please by Amy Poehler. You’ll feel no qualms about listening to it, chuckling a bit, and deleting it.