…versus ebooks and/or tangible books. Because anyone who’s ever read a book will have an opinion on this, I’m sure.
But, in today’s post, we’re talking about why you should, if you haven’t already, consider reading via YA audiobooks. And I’ve got an entire list of reasons for you, starting with…
Time, Time, Time
Oh, and did I mention time?
In Stephan King’s classic On Writing, the great American writer tells us he reads between 70 to 80 fiction books a year, and of those, 6 to 12 are audiobooks. Oh, and he wrote that back in the 90s when all audiobooks were on cassettes and CDs, so they weren’t exactly super easy to come by like the stockpiles of audiobooks on the internet now. Why would he go through the hassle of collecting cassettes and CDs in the early stages of audiobook productions, though?
Because listening to audiobooks saves so much time.
Think about it—how many more books do you think you could get through if you listen to them versus just read them?
Listening to an audiobook is, frankly, like being spoon-fed a book. That may sound wrong or weird, but it doesn’t have to be. I mean, if you’re not in the mood to glue your eyes to the text of a book, you can still get some reading done by getting all that text read to you by a middleman (AKA the audiobook narrator). I don’t mind being spoon-fed every once in a while, especially on the days where I just can’t seem to focus on anything; there’s no shame in it!
Young adult lit is also famously known for being, usually, very short. You can expect most young adult/teen fiction audiobooks to run between 8 to 15-ish hours, as opposed to the 30+ hours of some other genres. Now, think of how many YA audiobooks you could listen to a month, even if you only have a few spare hours a week!
Another plus of listening to an audiobook is the fact that it is a form of immersive media—it’s audio. Just like a song or piece of music can transform our mood or even transport us to another place, audiobooks give us a voice to hear and imagine as taking us to another place. We also get to hear this physical voice and attach it to the narrator, making that narrator all the more real. Especially when the book is written in first person (meaning the narrator is the main character, speaking with ‘I’), we can paint a more vivid picture of this character based on the voice we hear.
You can also think of audiobooks as a type of television show/film/movie. I mean, just like on TV, the narrator is an actor playing the part of a character, or, often, multiple characters. Some audiobooks even have multiple narrators to play each character part. So, if you like television… then try audiobooks, too!
Along with being a huge time-saver, audiobooks also allow for multitasking and convenience on your behalf!
You can listen to an audiobook pretty much anywhere, especially if you have it downloaded digitally on your smartphone. Some popular times people throw on their headphones and listen to a book are during workouts or walks, while driving or riding the subway, and grocery shopping or cooking. And, that’s not nearly an exhaustive list—you can literally listen any time your ears are free, even when your hands are not. Personally, my favorite times to do some audiobook listening are when I’m doing anything hobby-related, like painting, sewing, or even playing video games.
Audiobooks add a layer of entertainment to boring or quiet tasks—you can get swept away to a dystopian society that forces children and teenagers into games of life and death while chopping onions! And, by listening to a book while you’re busy with other things that normally keep you from reading an ebook or physical book, you’re taking out two birds with one stone. Again, you’re can be catching up on the Hunger Games series while cooking!
You may not think much about how your favorite audiobooks, let alone your favorite books in general, are made, but a lot of people come together to create such a fabulous thing. In audiobook production, not only is the author involved, but so is (usually) an audio producer, narrator or voice actor, distributor, and retailer, at the very least. So, when you purchase an audiobook, you’re actually helping to support all of these people and the individual industries they work in. Pretty cool, right?
The audiobook industry is booming as readers are turning to audiobooks to read, too. According to the Audio Publishers Association, 67 million people listen to at least one audiobook a year. Now, if you aren’t already one of those people, why aren’t you? This industry is not tanking by any means, but by supporting it, you will help it to grow further, and more audiobooks will be able to be released with enough popular demand.
Another thing to note… almost half of all audiobook listens are under age 35, which we also know more likely to pick up books in the YA genre. Can we also think, then, that there are tons of audiobook available in the young adult genre? I think… yes.
Well, if I haven’t convinced you that YA audiobooks are the best thing around since sliced bread… well, I’m sure that’s not a problem, because everyone should already be on board!
Now, if you’re ready to start listening to a YA audiobook for yourself, I have a few suggestions…
Yes, these are both my own audiobooks… but, hey, shameless plug, because they’re pretty awesome!
Check out What Now, Emma Lenford?, the first in a series about the funniest, yet unluckiest, 17 year old on the planet, here. And check out Cartoon, the stand alone story of an awkward teen spy, here. They’re both available on a bunch of online retailers, and you may even be able to listen to both FREE through Hoopla or Bibliotheca, if you have access to a library that uses either of those media services.
Let me know, of course, what you think of audiobooks, especially in the young adult genre, in the comments!
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