Audiobooks are one form of reading I have never been able to immerse myself in. A fact that I find unfortunate because I could get so much more books read if I could master listening to audiobooks. They’re just so handy really, and great when you have some other boring/mindless tasks to complete.
In my entire life I have listened to two audiobooks
The very first audiobook I remember listening to was one of the Silver Brumby sequels. I think I was 10 at the time. The book was on cassette tapes we borrowed from the library. Every day I’d put it in the cassette player, lay down on the floor and listen to it for a while. I got a decent way through it if I didn’t finish it.
The second audiobook was THE FALSE PRINCE. It was free so I downloaded it and got maybe a chapter or two in but really struggled. In the end I gave up and just borrowed the physical book from the library (and then finished it incredibly quickly)
I struggle with audiobooks because I’m easily distracted.
My brain never slows down. It’s constantly turning over thinking of one thing or another. Every time I’ve attempted to listen to an audiobook my mind starts wandering, I zone out, and next thing I realise a good two or three minutes have passed. This happens to me in lectures too and is a really annoying habit.
Every time I zone out I have to go back to the last thing I remember hearing and start again. In the long run it ends up taking longer than if I’d just physically read the page myself. Which reminds me of another thing that annoys me about audiobooks: I usually read at a faster pace than the narrator speaks (but this can be changed with speeding things up to 1.5x speed, etc).
A lot of people listen to audiobooks when they clean, exercise, drive, etc but even that doesn’t work for me. I’m probably just a terrible multi-tasker, but what happens when I tried this listening to podcasts was that I end up focusing on the task I was doing and forget to listen to the story.
I want to try listening to audiobooks again
Despite all these past failures I don’t want to give up on audiobooks just yet. My struggles could be the result of audiobooks just not being for me, or maybe I just haven’t found a good audiobook yet. Either way I want to try at least a couple of more times.
With uni, I really struggle to find time to sit down and read a book, let alone pick up more hobbies. If I can get into audiobooks I might be able to get through more than a book or two a month. I could listen to them while brushing my teeth, getting ready in the morning, etc, etc. Plus audiobooks would mean I can start utilising my library again.
The key thing for me would be to not do anything that could take my focus away from the audiobook. That means no reading things on the internet, no tasks that require any sort of brain activity, etc. I’ve been thinking of buying one of those adult colouring books and listening to an audiobook as I colour in some of those pictures for an hour or so every night after I finish studying.