Reading With Your Ears

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I wrote two blog posts (in 2008 and 2011) about my love for audiobooks. At the end of 2015, the global audiobook industry was outselling print. This is such an interesting progress.

According to an article in the good e-reader – “For the first time audiobook and audiobook subscription services are being tracked by Nielsen StatShot.  20 publishers proclaimed that the subscription model for audiobooks are actually proving to be more lucrative than e-Books. Approximately 3.88 million audiobooks were downloaded in 2015.

The Audio Publishers Association (APA)’s recent consumer behaviour study revealed a strong demand for titles for younger listeners and fiction continues to represent the vast majority of audiobooks sold.

If you have never tried an audiobook, it’s not too late to start now! An audiobook is the perfect companion for road trips, daily commute, workout, relaxing in bed, while doing housework, or cooking. My favourite time to listen to an audiobook is when I am painting.

Audiobook services
It is becoming very common for digital book retailers like iTunes, Scribd, multi-entertainment platforms like Playster to sell audiobooks too. Other audio-only retailers also exist, like Audiobooks.com and Downpour.com.  My favourite is still Audible. With more than 150,000 titles, Audible is paradise for bookworms.

There are also free audiobooks (although rather limited titles and mostly classics) on Spotify.

Audiobook Narrators
Good narrators make a world of difference to the audiobooks, breathing life into stories, giving audiobooks a dimension that print lacks. A-list celebrities are often brought in as narrators to increase visibility of the books and broaden consumer base.

Here are a few of my recent favourite famous authors and celebrities narrated books:

THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Written by Margaret Atwood
Narrated by Claire Danes 

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
Written by James Thurber
Narrated by Ben Stiller 

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
Written and Narrated by Neil Gaiman 

YES PLEASE
Written and Narrated by Amy Poehler

The Audacity of Hope
Written and Narrated by Barack Obama 

For all the Harry Potter fans, the whole series by author, J.K Rowling was narrated by ‘audiobook superstar’ Jim Dale.  It was said that he used as many as 134 different voices throughout the course of the seven books, and made him the most awarded audiobook performer in history. He also narrated my all-time favourite book, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.

And I was truly surprised to find Johnny Cash reading the New Testament! This has to be one of my all-time favourites.

Other Audiobooks Resources
https://librivox.org
Free public domain recordings of public domain works Read more about it
AudioFile
Reviews and recommends good audiobooks. List new releases

I am currently listening to Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning and  H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. Definitely considering something narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch as well.

If you have any other good recommendation, drop me a note! Happy listening.

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