As a librarian many people assume that I must be an avid reader. While I do enjoy a good book, I often find my mind wondering to all the other tasks I’m neglecting, or my eyes growing heavy as I read. So, how do I manage to read around 90 books a year? I am an avid audiobook listener. I fell in love with audiobooks as a child and my love for them has only grown. Here a few reasons why I love audiobooks.
- Immersive ExperienceIf you have ever enjoyed a bedtime story or have been swept away during a read a-loud, then you know the power of the spoken word. Listening to a skilled narrator has the power to transport you into the story. Time in the real word passes differently as you live in this fictional world. This immersive experience is perfect for completing boring tasks like folding laundry or washing dishes.
- Enhanced Literacy SkillsOur listening skills are typically two levels above our reading skills. Listening to audiobooks exposes the listener to higher vocabulary and more complex sentence structures. Studies show that students who follow along with audiobooks (listen and read) show higher word recognition and reading fluency skills. While students who listen alone show higher vocabulary. Both groups show improved language acquisition, pronunciation, phonemic awareness, and comprehension—skills that often boost reading scores.
- Shared ExperiencesWhile reading is often a solitary activity, audiobooks are perfect for sharing. Growing up my parents always had an Adventures in Odyssey cassette tape on hand anytime we were in the car. For longer road trips we listened to stories set our destination, making these places come to life. Sharing an audiobook can also serve as a springboard for deeper conversations and for personal stories to be shared.
The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library offers over 50,000 audiobook options for all reading levels. Additionally, audiobooks can be downloaded to your devices for free by using your library card and downloading the Libby by Overdrive or Hoopla apps. If you are in a reading slump, or are just looking for a way to read a few more books this year consider an audiobook.