Millions of people are turning to audiobooks to fulfill their literary needs and for a good reason.
A mere couple of years ago, it was pretty difficult to imagine that many people would switch to listening to audiobooks instead of reading. But, that’s our reality today.
A recent report from the Audio Publishers Association’s annual sales survey indicated that in 2019, audio publishers generated over $1.2 billion in revenue, up by 16% from the 2018 numbers.
And during the same time, the sale of ebooks was down to $983 million, marking the first time the sale of audiobooks surpassed ebook sales.
Interestingly, American audiobook listeners’ average age of 18 and above increased to 8.1 in 2020, compared to 6.8 in 2019 – this implies audiobooks are increasingly becoming popular among older people.1
While these stats are positive and show growing interests in audiobooks, the questions you want answers to are:
Why should you care? Why should you start listening to audiobooks?
Audiobooks are perfect if:
You always find yourself saying you don’t have time to read
We get it. Modern life is fast-paced, with so many things jostling for your attention.
You are probably caught up in a whirl of activities – there are looming deadlines to meet, piling pitch decks to prepare, and, of course, the stress to hit your monthly key performance metrics.
And, if you are a parent, there’s also the expectation that you need to be available and present for your family, which further eats into the little time you could have used to read.
The bottom line is, you have a lot going on already as it is; the last thing you want right now is adding more items to your to-do list, not even picking up a book to read.
But, here’s where audiobooks excel. You don’t necessarily have to block a specific chunk of time for listening to the audiobooks.
You can squeeze in a couple of reading minutes in-between tasks. For example, your lunch break can be a great time to slip in some reading while having lunch.
If you commute long hours to and from work, you may want to use those free time to listen to audiobooks.
Listening to audiobooks is relaxing
In the same study referenced earlier, 73% of audiobook consumers say they found listening to audiobook relaxing.
Given how overly stressed out the average American is, introducing habits and lifestyle changes that reduce stress are welcomed.
Audiobooks, thankfully, come in several easy to access options you can listen to anytime and anywhere.
Listening to audiobooks can be an effective way to induce sleep if you often have trouble falling asleep – says Mike Karlovic, Bokus Play’s subscriber and CEO of biblioteket.online.
Could be a more effective way to learn
Everyone has their preferred method of learning. Some tend to retain information better when they read; others, however, do better when they consume the audio format of the same information instead of reading.
While some people feel strongly that listening to audiobooks is cheating and not the same thing as reading a physical book. Researchers have shown that, to the brain, it doesn’t matter the medium through which the information was conveyed.
Scientists from the Gallant Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, mapped participants’ brain activity as they read and listened to the same book. They found evidence that suggests that the same part of the brain was activated regardless of whether the participants were reading or listening to an audiobook.2
Understanding the best way you learn is vital here. If you learn better by listening and can retain more information this way, there’s no reason why you should give that up for the old-fashioned physical book.
Audiobooks are convenient
Convenience is a significant reason many people are turning to audiobooks. Most people are always on the go, which, of course, makes it challenging to carry physical books around or even read ebooks.
However, with audiobooks, you only need to have the audiobook downloaded on your smartphone, plug in your headphone, press play, and you’re off.
Also, audiobooks encourage multitasking since you can easily listen to the book regardless of where you are or what you are doing.
For example, you can be cleaning the house, working out or knitting or gardening while listening to an audiobook.
Help you read more books.
Do you know last year 51% of adults in the U.K. said they read at least one book in the previous year, which is a decrease from 56% in the prior year?
The implication is that nearly half of adults in the U.K. never read a single book in a full 12 months.3
In the U.S., while the stats seem more optimistic, 27% of Americans said they did not read a book in 2019.4
While this is a worrisome trend and a cause for concern, there are several things one can do to encourage more people to read.
For example, listening to audiobooks instead of reading physical or ebooks. Audiobooks, without a doubt, is an effective way to read more books.
Audiobooks eliminate the need to pick up physical books (some people are averse to reading physical books). You can also get more books read by listening to them while doing other things that don’t require your full concentration.
Become a more interesting person
Reading expands the mind and makes you a much more interesting person. When you read frequently, you are regularly exposed to new ideas, cultures, and places you may never have known existed otherwise.
As a reader, you feed your curiosity and appetite to learn new things, which ultimately seeps into your social life since you’ll now have more interesting conversation starters to warm up to new people.
Also, you become a well-informed, grounded individual people will gradually begin to look up to for your opinion and insights on issues. And, when people start to perceive you as an authority on a given topic, you can easily leverage that to advance your career or any course you believed in.
Audiobooks are becoming popular for a reason – people want a more convenient way of consuming information without putting their lives on hold.
With audiobooks, you can fill those less productive times of the day with insightful, entertaining, and informative reading time.
Interesting Related Article: ” 6 Audiobooks That Are Perfect Antidotes to Modern Stresses and Strains“