In honor of Audiobook Month, we’ve been spending June rounding up audiobook listening insights from our team of professional reviewers. And we’ve found that many of our reviewers, including some of AudioFile’s own editors, use their audiobook listening time to engage their minds while working through mundane tasks, commuting, or crafting.
Whether commuting by car or ferry or by foot, our reviewers have found that audiobooks are indispensable. Reviewer Marc Bona says that, “For years, I have averaged driving 350 miles a week for work. Audiobooks have been with me on every jaunt. Thanks to audiobooks, I’m both being educated and entertained behind the wheel.” Lisa Taylor agrees, and says audiobooks help her get through her commutes on I95 in Florida. She admits, “I often arrive for work early and sit in my car until I finish a chapter — I mainly review books for kids and young adults. Listening to young adult nonfiction is a wonderful way to learn something new without investing a great deal of time, I highly recommend it.” Andy Northrup says he mostly listens while on his long commute, and anytime he can squeeze in a few minutes. His listening tastes skew toward horror: “Stephen King is my favorite author, and I think summer is a great time to luxuriate in one of his epic stories. IT, THE STAND, and THE OUTSIDER are all terrific audiobooks.”
Kate McDonald uses audiobooks to read more books, and her reviewing time lets her encounter new-to-her authors that she wouldn’t necessarily have found on her own. “Like so many other working parents, my life is a messy, creative, beautiful adventure! Audiobooks are my escape and motivation to keep moving, even on the most jam-packed days.”
Mohana Rajakumar also uses audiobooks to mindfully multitask when in the car and on the sidelines of her kids’ activities — like swim class. Stephen Cummings started listening to audiobooks 20 years ago on cassette tape, encouraged by his mom. “I took in ANGELA’S ASHES per my mother’s suggestion. I thought I was just being a dutiful son, but I quickly discovered I loved it. Now my wife and I have over 600 audiobooks.” And Rich Gotshall recommends listening while weeding and watering in the garden. “It lets me do two things at once — one task I need to do and one for fun. It also makes the time seem to move more quickly when I’m painting a fence.”
Reviewer Maya Fleischmann says, “I love listening to audiobooks because it’s someone reading me a story and my hands are free to do my art.” Maya is not alone! Our Managing Editor, Jenn Dowell, says her view while listening is almost always a knitting project. And Miriam Kahn says audiobooks keep her company when she’s driving, gardening, and stitching. “Each audiobook is a new adventure, a chance to experience a performance by a superb narrator who captures every nuance and emotion of characters, events, and places.”
Some of our reviewers are lucky enough to have loyal, uncritical companions join them in their listening. Reviewer Leslie and her dog, Pete, enjoy audiobooks on their drives out to hike in the Adirondack Mountains. “Audiobooks make the drive fly by and give us plenty to think about as we venture off into the woods and up to the summits. Audiobooks are the best way to make the most of my time, doing all the things I love to do!” Amanda Costello has three cat companions who like a good story. “Just like the cats, lively stories by talented performers follow me around and make tasks like folding laundry more exciting. Audiobooks make life more enjoyable, and I borrow some from my local library when I read a good review from a fellow AudioFile reviewer.”
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