Audiobooks: A Commuter’s Dream?

Audiobooks: A Commuter’s Dream?

I spend approximately 10 hours in the car every week commuting to and from work, and have finally decided to give audiobooks a try. Here are my initial thoughts.

As an avid reader, I’m surprised I didn’t try this sooner. I typically spend my car rides blasting show tunes and singing at the top of my lungs for all of my fellow 287 North commuters to hear, but that does get old pretty quickly. I’ve given some podcasts a go, but could never find one I loved and found myself uninterested and drowning out the sound of chatter. But, finally, I’ve decided that maybe audiobooks would be different, seeing as they’re telling a story and not just talking at me while I sit and stare at the brake lights ahead of me.

It’s been a week since I decided to give audiobooks a try, and I’m half way through The Hazel Wood, but I already have a decent amount of pros and cons. So let’s jump right in.

My Pros and Cons

For starters, a major pro that comes to mind is the fact that I’m able to get through my reading list much quicker. I typically only have time to read a chapter or two of my current book before I fall asleep at night, leaving my reading pace very below par of where I’d like to be.

Another pro is that I actually do enjoy hearing someone tell me a story. Hearing the fluctuation in the narrator’s tone emphasizes the storyline and helps add drama and suspense.

However, that also brings me to my first con… sometimes, I dislike the narrator’s voice. I like how Apple iBooks allows you to preview the story first before purchasing so you can get a sense of how the narrator will sound, but what if I dislike it? Will I just be forced to move onto a different book and end up ignoring that book I hoped to read next?

Another con, and this might just be a me problem, is that I do sometimes end up zoning out for a minute and having to rewind when I realize I missed a key aspect of the story.

One other downside, probably the one I’m struggling with most of all, is the fact that I can’t feel like I’m truly experiencing a book when I’m listening to it rather than reading. When I’m lying in bed with a book in my hands (or my iPad in some cases… I go back and forth), I feel like I’m living the story and kind of escaping my world for some time to jump inside the character’s mind and really live and experience it first-hand. When I’m listening, I don’t feel that same way. Maybe this is something I’d get used to over time or maybe it’s just one of those things I’d have to get over.


I’ve decided that I plan to keep giving audiobooks a try, just to get a better feel for it and give it time to grow on me a bit more. Now, I need to figure out which audiobooks service is best for me….

Apple iBooks vs Audible

I purchased my first audiobook using Apple iBooks, so I’ve been using that platform for now. However, I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about Audible, which is Amazon’s audiobook service and provides a subscription-based service.

For those who use audiobooks or have tried either streaming service, please let me know your thoughts and which one you prefer!

I also know many of my followers commute via train, so I’m curious if audiobooks are something they have tried before and how they feel about it. Also, if you do use audiobooks, which service do you prefer?




  1. June 13, 2018 / 9:50 am

    The reason audiobooks are so expensive is because they have to pay a voice actor to narrate it for several hours. You’re paying for the experience and content rather than just the content (like you do in books). I have the gold plan. It’s 14.95 a month and I get one free credit. In addition, I get 30% off all audiobooks and, even if I cancel my subscription, get to keep all of the books I got.

    Take the Great Courses series. They’re typically 18-28 hours long. (Because I usually listen to books about ancient civilizations and historical events so they’re very lengthy.) Each book costs 40-60 dollars as a regular audiobook. However, with audible’s discount it comes down 30% and then, if you have a credit, it’s completely free. I’ve gotten over 50 books in 3 years and 36 of those “for free” [or really 14.95] which is way less than half any of those book’s standard price. It’s amazing!

    • June 13, 2018 / 9:58 am

      Oh, wow. That does make sense regarding justifying the higher cost. I’ll look into the Audible membership later today. How does it work with existing e-books I already purchased via Amazon? Is there any type of discount on the audio version of those if I decide to listen to, say, Harry Potter books again? 🙂

  2. June 13, 2018 / 9:19 am

    I almost exclusively read books by listening to them and Audible is absolutely amazing! I’ve been using their service for about three years. Depending on your plan you get one credit a month (to be applied to any book) and a discount on all other books. Typically, I’ll use my one credit to get an expensive book (over 40 dollars) for free and my discount on cheaper books! It’s a steal when you realize how expensive audiobooks are on the regular.

    • June 13, 2018 / 9:21 am

      Yeah, I noticed that the audiobook version of Hazel Wood was around $25 while the book was only about $10… I figured it was just Apple’s pricing but then checked Audible and saw the same. How does the subscription process work? Is it a monthly fee and you just get one book of your choosing?

%d bloggers like this: