Are audiobooks the same as reading?

I’ve just been checking out an interesting project over at It’s an audiobook called The Chopin Manuscript and is being billed as the first-ever audio serial book. It’s written by 15 successful thriller writers; Jeffery Deaver conceived of the characters, story and wrote the first chapter, with 14 other writers including David Hewson, Lisa Scottoline and Lee Child contributing chapters and Deaver bringing it to its conclusion. It’s narrated by Alfred Molina and proved to be one of the fastest-selling audio titles of 2007.

I had heard of the book when it was first released in September but wanted to wait until all the chapters were available. Then I forgot about it until I was looking around Audible earlier. So far I’m enjoying it; I’ve just about finished Deaver’s chapter and the story is interesting, even if it does sound a little like The Da Vinci Code. Alfred Molina’s narration is excellent as well.

What’s interesting about the project is seeing so many writers not just embracing audiobooks but using them as a medium. So far there’s no printed version of The Chopin Manuscript and it feels very visual compared to other audiobooks. I’ve grown to like audiobooks over the last few years… I’m a fast reader but I enjoy listening to books as well and they’ve been very useful while I’ve been having trouble sleeping.

A lot of people don’t like audiobooks. I can understand that; they think it takes away from the reading experience, from the conversation between author and reader. Of those people, a number are very dismissive of listeners; I’ve offered audiobooks to people who haven’t been able to find the printed version, only to have it refused as it’s not “real reading”… I have a problem with that. I agree that audiobooks are not the same experience but to say they’re a lesser experience bugs me. What you get out of them is different, yes, but they both have value.

To me reading isn’t about interpreting words visually as much as understanding language. If someone’s telling a story then it doesn’t matter if I’m reading the words off the page or hearing them inside my head, that’s still reading. It provides a different experience, an auditory experience, but I’m still getting the same story. For certain books it can actually be an advantage, particularly if it’s a book that’s difficult to read. And if you think about it, listening to a story long predates the written word. When we’re listening to an audiobook we’re really tapping into our ancestors sitting by the campfire, listening to a storyteller weave his magic.

The main disadvantage with audiobooks is that the feeling can be quite different. I don’t know if you’ve listened to a book you’ve read previously but it feels different. The reason is because the narrator is interpreting the story rather than you; he or she places the emphasis on certain words differently than you might, so it’s never exactly the same. And sometimes dialogue which sounds right on the page doesn’t seem believable when read aloud. That’s why personally I’ll always prefer the printed page; I just like the feel and smell of paper, hearing the words in my own voice. But that doesn’t mean that I think audiobooks aren’t the same, just that I get something different from them. Usually the kind of audiobooks I listen to are classics or thrillers, which are more visual anyway, and I listen to quite a few short stories as well. I listen to them the same way I’d read normal books: on my own, unwinding with a good story.

If you’re interested in audiobooks, they can be a bit pricey, but Audible is great; they give you discounts and the subscription works out to a half-price book each month. They’ve also just been bought by Amazon so there’s a chance the prices might drop. And there’s Lit2Go as well, a great service on iTunes. It provides free audiobooks for download and the narration is excellent. You don’t need an iPod, just iTunes, and it’s well worth checking out.

What do you think of audiobooks, though? Do you listen to them? Is listening really the same as reading or does it make the experience lesser? Would you listen to The Chopin Manuscript or other audio-only titles? Maybe you could try the sample over at Audible and let me know what you think.

29 thoughts on “Are audiobooks the same as reading?

  1. I’ve been an audiobook listener (and audible subscriber) for years now — and your stance on their place in literature (not less than reading, just different from reading) pretty much mirrors my own. A good book read by a competent narrator can be every bit as rewarding as reading the print version…but it’s a different experience.

    People who get hung up on that need to get over themselves, and in my experience, they’re generally the ones who are most likely to attempt to impress you with the lists of authors they’ve read — people who are more worried about what their tastes in reading say about them rather than to them.

    The next time I mention audiobooks to someone and hear the old refrain of “whatsa matter? don’t know how to READ? yuk yuk yuk,” violence will most likely follow.

    CJ: Hi Greg, thanks for the comment. Great to hear from another Audible subscriber! I agree that a good book that’s well narrated can be very rewarding; what you’re really getting is a performance and I still remember the feeling I got listening to The Iliad for the first time… I’ve read it many times since as well, so I guess I’ve covered it both ways. πŸ˜‰

    In my experience people who have a problem with audiobooks don’t understand them; they think it’s replacing reading, but really an audiobook is meant to complement it. It’s just another way of experiencing the story and when I put it like that they seem to get it more, though I’ve still had some heated disagreements. In the end it’s a personal choice; if they can’t accept that, it says more about them than anyone else.

    Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

    1. I go all the way for reading. Reading gives just a special feeling. Imagine someone narrating an Agatha Christie Novel. You simply can’t accept it. Now, I’m not saying that audio books are bad but usually I prefer to read before I listen to the book if it is available in either formats. I’ve been a fan of the Agatha Christie BBC dramatised novels.

      1. What about if the book were narrated by Agatha Christie herself (before her death, of course)? I found some audiobooks are narrated by the authors themselves, with a special cast of voice actors chosen to read the character’s lines.

  2. i haven’t tried an audiobook before simply because it’s cheaper and easier to borrow the book and read. i’m a bit biased to that experience too, though i understand it’s a totally different one. reading this, i might be open to that experience, if someone has an audiobook i’d want to ‘read.’

    hmm, maybe it’s good to listen to an audiobook. i’ve been wanting to improve my enunciation and develop an accent. i love my malaysian accent, but if i can develop a ‘caucasian-sounding’ one it could lead to good job opportunities in my country.

    CJ: That’s the main problem with audiobooks, the price! I was just looking at The Kite Runner which is well over $25 US but you could buy the book for $9 US. If the prices were more competitive I’m sure more people would consider trying audiobooks… right now it’s mainly just people with disposable incomes or who don’t have the time to read.

    You certainly pick up a lot from audiobooks, so it might be worth you trying one, sulz. Who knows, you might surprise yourself and really enjoy it! πŸ˜‰ Most libraries have a reasonable collection; that’d be a great place to start, or with short stories. They’d give you a sense of if it’s your kind of thing.

    1. When I started listening to audiobooks I would only purchase ones on-sale at Borders or Barnes and Noble. They tend to have great, cheap audiobooks for as little as a few bucks. Now I am an Audible subscriber and I can’t wait to get that $14 credit each month – saves me money and for the sake of my sanity! πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve never listened to an audiobook. I really like the feel of a book in my hands. I also like being able to read sections I savor again and again. I think the transition might be a hard one for me but that doesn’t mean I won’t give listening a whirl.

    CJ: Nothing really beats the feel and smell of a good book, does it? Sometimes I miss that while I’m listening, and being able to go back and reread a juicy twist… overall, though, the experience is so different. An audiobook is really like another version of the same story… something which complements a written book but isn’t exactly the same. I think that’s probably the best way I can describe it.

    I remember Stephen King said something in his autobiography that he always has an audiobook playing when he drives or has a free minute; it’s just become normal for him and he listens in spurts, so perhaps that’s one way to get past the transition… hope you enjoy one if you ever give it a try; I’d be interested to know what you think. πŸ˜‰

  4. I don’t think audiobooks are the “same” as reading, but an alternative. I have great difficulty listening to a lecture, story, or discussion if I’m just sitting still listening, whereas I can get totally pulled in by a written book, and lose touch with my surroundings. I think this kind of experience is partially because of the way our brains are structured. A reason could be left-brain or right-brain dominance, or preference for auditory, visual, or tactile learning styles. There is some research indicating many people take in information “best” using one of those three “information inputs” if you will.
    Obviously a primarily auditory-type-learning individual will love audiobooks, and will thrive by recording lectures and playing them back.
    A printed book serves primarily visual people (although we’ve all been trained to use them somewhat) with a little tactile thrown in. If one is primarily tactile, s/he will feel deprived with an audiobook.
    A while back, I had a fairly routine desk job, and at the time there was a radio show which broadcast an hour of a skilled reader reading from a novel each day. It was like a magazine serial–you had to tune in every weekday at 3 to get the next chapter or “chunk of book”. This was ideal for me, because I could “read” a novel while simultaneously getting the job done. It was even better than listening to music while working, in my case—gave me more focus.
    I think my favorite book I “heard/read” this way was one of Jeffrey Archer’s. I agree with you that it would be difficult to “hear” a book after “reading” it. This reader “audiated” Archer’s characters very specifically, and I would have heard the “voices” in my own head differently if reading.
    Audiobooks are of course also a huge help for blind people. For most of them they are a vast improvement over Braille books. I wonder though, if a blind person is a tactile learner if they’d prefer the Braille, though.
    Good topic, cj, I’ll check out Audible.

    CJ: An alternative’s a good way of looking at it, Muse. Like another version with a slightly different experience… interesting, though, because I’m the exact opposite in that I don’t like doing anything else while I’m listening; I just like sitting somewhere quiet and letting the story wash over me. It’s not why most people listen to audiobooks, but I guess my brain just doesn’t work that way. πŸ™‚

    That makes sense about our reading habits relating to whether we’re an auditory, visual or tactile learner… I wonder what that makes exceptions, though? If you enjoy reading a book as well as listening to one, just in different ways, does that mean you’re visually and auditorally balanced? Or maybe you always have some preference; if I had to choose I’d still prefer reading the book, in the end.

    The radio show sounds like it was a great idea… Archer would be an interesting author for that as his writing is quite visual, so I can see how it would narrate well. It’s the sort of thing you’d think would be done more often, actually, particularly on community radio. It would be a good service for blind people and people with learning disabilities… I couldn’t imagine trying to read with their kind of difficulties.

    Thanks, Muse. Audible’s well worth a look; who knows, you might find something you like. πŸ˜‰

  5. Great post CJ I know that a lot of quilters and craftspersons swear by them as it can be hard to do handicraft while watching the TV. I’ve also heard a lot of quilters say they listen to an audio book while on the sewing machine for hours. I can’t read and do other things[though when I was young I used to wash up apparently with my book propped on the taps] so it appeals to me as otherwise my reading these days takes a backseat to sewing.
    The other thing is that as I get older and the old arthritis gets a hold, I even find it hard to hold books these days due to their weight and the so I may give this a try, that is if I can hear the damn thing. [apparently I am going deaf too!!!!!!!]

    CJ: Thanks, MQ! I imagine listening to an audiobook (or music) makes a lot of sense when you’re quilting, as something to fill up the room and help you focus… the sewing machine’s an interesting one though. Wouldn’t it be so loud that you wouldn’t be able to hear the audio?

    As long as they’re unabridged then I think audiobooks are a great way to go… it’s a different experience, but you’re still getting the story. I think it would be great for thrillers and crime books in particular as their pace is ideal for narration. And you’re not deaf, btw. Just auditorally-challenged. πŸ˜‰

  6. I have never tried an audio book. And I don’t think I will anytime soon. However, the audio book is like a modern take on ancient oral storytelling traditions. After all, speech was the medium of storytelling long before the written word took over.

    Ok you wrote that in the post too but whatever. I missed that bit when I first read the post. πŸ˜›

    CJ: I actually didn’t try audiobooks myself for a long time; it wasn’t until I was near the end of school and had so much work that I realised they might be worth a try. Even then they took a while to get used to… so you never know, Bharat, one day you might try one and find it grows on you! πŸ˜‰

    And it was a good point to bring up. I wish I’d developed it more in the post, actually, as I find that kind of thing very interesting… ah well, next time. πŸ™‚

  7. I have three comments: First, it’s important to think of an audiobook as a performance, an experience that is different from simply reading. While you lose something from the experience of seeing the words on the page, you gain something from the narrator’s expressive reading of those words. Great readers can make a mediocre book quite enjoyable (e.g., The Da Vinci Code πŸ˜‰).

    Two, and related, one’s not inherently “better” than the other. As CJ writes, our original storytelling was all oral. Another way to think of it is reading Shakespeare vs. seeing it performed. I defy anyone to say that one should only read it. Even just listening to a great performance brings something that the printed page simply cannot provide. (Of course, Shakespeare wrote plays, not novels, but it’s worth noting.)

    Last, as Magik points out, you can listen to audiobooks in contexts where you simply cannot read. For me, it’s while commuting. This is time that is otherwise dead, useless, and audiobooks not only fill the time, they distract and entertain from an otherwise soul-sucking experience.

    I wish that I had the time to read, like I did when I was younger. I can’t even manage to watch 2 hours of TV a week, though, so I’m pretty sure my available time is really gone. Finding that dead time, and making use of it, is like a gift of a few extra hours a day, that aren’t allocated to somebody else’s agenda. In that way, audiobooks are better than reading.

    CJ: That’s a great way of looking at it, a performance. I’ve been thinking that an audiobook really complements the written form, the same story but a slightly different experience… if you think of it almost like an adaptation, then why it can feel different makes a lot of sense.

    I often watch people on the bus or train when I’m on my way into the city; some read a newspaper or a book, but a lot listen to an iPod. I’ve always thought they’re listening to music but I wonder how many are actually listening to an audiobook? It’s a great way to kill time while commuting, so perhaps more than we’d think.

    I tend to listen to a lot of classics as audiobooks. They’re a bit cheaper and I find that they seem to have dated less when you hear them narrated; like you said, they feel like more of a performance and while I’m not sure they’re better than reading, personally I prefer listening to them. I guess it’s personal choice, in the end. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  8. Um CJ I meant to say they use Walkmans or the present day equivalent, something with headphones. Maybe I should try that.

    CJ: Ah, headphones make sense. I should have realised, LOL. πŸ˜‰ They’d be good for you, particularly if you can find some which can cancel out noise as well. Then you’d have no distractions.

  9. I think Audiobooks can be the same as reading simply because of how they both put images in your head while listening or reading. BUT I don’t think Audiobooks are for everyone. Especially people like me. Some people have trouble reading which is why an audio book could be good for them. I would not benefit from an audiobook simply because my mind would drift waaay too much from listening to the reader and I would probably end up reading it anyway to get what I missed.

    You always write nice things πŸ™‚

    CJ: Thanks, Dya. That’s a good point; they’re both telling the same story, so the images they’re putting in your head (whether listening or reading) are similar. I have several books in audio as well and they give me a slightly different image; one I “see” because it’s being described to me, the other I “sense” because I’m creating it in my mind. But it’s more a feeling and the scene is the same, so really they’re much the same, in the end.

    The thing with an audiobook is that you tend to absorb what’s going on in the story; you can drift away from it more easily than reading without losing your place. That’s why people can multitask while they’re listening. But you’re right, they’re definitely not for everyone; some people find them relaxing, others boring as hell! I think a good narrator makes a difference; then you’re listening to Ian McKellen or Alfred Molina tell a story, rather than someone just reading a book. Unless of course you just go see them in the movie instead. πŸ˜‰

  10. I prefer reading books to listening to audiobooks, but I agree that they’re very different experiences. I find that I take in more of what is said in an audiobook – it seems to sink in better.

    I know what you mean about reader’s interpretations, but the only problem which I have with audiobooks is that they very much depend on the quality of the reader. My mum recently bought a copy of the Penguin Classics audio collection (which turned out to be abridged). Most of the books are all right, but the reading of Pride & Prejudice is rather irritating and off-putting, like an overly-condescending children’s story.

    I’m quite fond of Stephen Fry’s readings of the Harry Potter novels, which are very well read. The only real problem with them is his tendancy to give certain characters (Susan Bones and Pansy Parkinson, if I remember correctly) unconvincing, exaggerated speech impediments that aren’t in the books. I don’t know why he does that, but it’s very annoying! o_o

    CJ: For certain books I find that as well. Reading Tom Clancy is quite difficult sometimes, but I find I absorb it more through an audiobook… maybe it’s something to do with how we process information through different senses?

    I’ve tried a few of those Penguin Classics. Some are okay but quite a few aren’t that great, so I’m not surprised about Pride & Prejudice. You just feel like the narrator is reading, not telling a story… some of those classics are on Lit2Go and they’re actually better! Who’d have thunk it? πŸ˜‰

    Haven’t heard any of the Harry Potter ones, though… I’ll have to check them out, I love Stephen Fry. I’m not sure why he’d give them impediments like that, though… I guess JK Rowling must be okay with it. I wouldn’t want to be messing with her characters otherwise. πŸ™‚

  11. Audio books are here to stay . I am in love with them . Not only its interesting to hear voices , you can enjoy them while moving. I hear audio books all the time in my car . One of my friend is so crazy about audio books . He takes long routes to get back to his home . You can find some cheaper audio book library online .

    CJ: I agree, I’ve been really impressed with audiobooks. What’s surprised me is that the books I’ve wanted to read for years but haven’t been able to find are available; I just bought PD James’ first novel unabridged and I’ve never seen it to buy as a book. I’ll have to have a look at some of the other services; Gutenberg’s another good one too. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ˜‰

  12. Perfect post CJ, this exact discussion has been giving me grief recently. I have never been a strong or fast reader (this might have something to do with being a product of Arizona public education). I have recently discovered that my local library has a wonderful selection of audio books and I have been hooked ever since. I listen to them in car, at work and at home. But there have been several people telling me that I am not actually reading them. It feels like they are being very condescending and it kind of hurts. I have always wanted to enjoy literature, but being a slow reader with little available free time has made it difficult. Now, I can start listening to a book at the same time as a friend and be finished at the same time as them to discuss it. It’s a great feeling. I have never had a discussion about characters and plot twists before until recently. I had a friend take a book that I had listened to, open it to a random page and read me a sentence or two. I would then tell him what happens next word for word; all the while I have never even opened the book. There is a real sense of dΓ©jΓ  vu when I read words that I have already listened to. I can hear the narrator’s voice all over again.

    I agree that you lose a little something in the audio format by not hearing your own voice in your head, but that does not mean you don’t visualize the story any differently. My imagination is just as vivid whether I am reading or listening. And I know that the experience of reading includes the feel and smell of the book. The time one sets aside and the preparation of a nice, quiet, comfortable place to read is part of the experience. Heck, even the coffee or tea one has with reading becomes sacred. I can appreciate that. But the big question is, can someone who listened to an audio book claim that they read it? And by β€œread it” I mean, can that person walk into a book discussion group and contribute something meaningful to it?

  13. I actually see where some reading-only people are coming from. When a book is being read, you are not just hearing the story, but the interpretation of that story according to the performer and producers. I am a little strange in this whole debate between reading and performed books, because I listen to a lot of books through accessibility apps (computer read books). I find that I even prefer it, because reading takes up too much time and audiobooks are too biased to the performance. And now that ivox, apple, and others have created such great synthesized voices they are a lot easier to get used to. What I like about them is that they are more neutral in their presentation which allows me to imagine for myself the inflection, humor, etc. However, I have been listening this way for years, and I fully acknowledge how much of a curve there is to be able to stand the monotony of the computer voice.

    My issue with some reading-only types is that their criticisms often sound like disdain bordering on bigotry. They personally don’t like it and attach what they think are near-scientific reasons as to why it is inferior. If you go back to Plato and Socrates, they hated writing because they believed it would change a person’s ability to commit things to memory and learn in the natural way a human-being is meant to learn. Writing to them was the inferior one.

  14. G Miller – thanks for stopping by. That’s interesting that you prefer listening to computer-narrated audiobooks. I’ve listened to a few (from LibriVox) and I find them a little distracting myself. I see what you mean about it being a more unbiased experience – that’s something I dislike as well, hearing an interpretation, rather than narration – but I find listening to something that has no emotional inflection a little… sterile. Or maybe it’s just something you have to get used to, as you said.

    I agree with you about some book-readers, though. Quite a few readers I’ve met seem to look at audiobooks as being “lesser” than reading somehow, like it’s a lazy alternative; I find that quite offensive. As someone who just loves stories, it doesn’t matter to me whether I’m reading or listening; it’s the same story, I’m just experiencing it in a different way. For generations we used to tell stories around campfires, listening to our elders tell us about distant lands and great adventures. To me, listening to audiobooks isn’t any different.

    You know, not to go off on a tangent, but I actually agree a bit with Socrates… well, not about writing, but about the way we approach problems. Socrates worked so much by questioning, trying to understand something from all angles to make sense of it and pull it apart. I think that’s a skill we’ve lost these days; we can study something, learn it by heart, but we never truly understand it or how to solve it. Like how to approach extremism.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Happy listening. πŸ˜‰

  15. cjwriter – Yes, I certainly agree that the ones from LibriVox are hard to stomach. I actually make my own from the text files on or some other equivalent site and use synthesized voices that are not so hard to get used to. I use a Mac app called iSpeakIt that can make iTunes audiobooks from eBooks using the system accessibility voices that Mac OS provides. There is also an alternative with phenomenal voices called Ghostreader that I have used. Still, I do have to admit that it is an acquired taste. However, it does emphasize one of the points that I would make about the topic and that is the idea that somehow a blind person who has had to acquire such a taste, having his/her computer read all webpages, documents, ebooks, etc. is somehow less literate than a pure visual reader. I am not blind, but I can imagine such a point would not go without objection when made to a blind person.

    One might continue to try to make such a point, and point out that reading must be done by finding a quiet place and quiet time to dedicate to reading. Even if that person reads fast, they will find that a computer reader like me can consume vastly larger amounts of works than they can. Given the vast somes of work left on my ever-growing reading list, I would not do it any other way.

    I would like to see studies on which part of the brain is working in visual or auditory learning. I seem to recall from my college psychology classes that language is understood in the same part of the brain either way, but that visual reading requires an extra part of the brain to translate what is read into language and I don’t think it is the same for auditory language. It is this reason that elderly illiterate people have extreme difficulty in learning to read later in life given the poor development in that part of the brain.

    Regarding performed audiobooks, Robert Jordan, in an interview before his death, replied to a question on this topic stating that he would listen to audiobooks of his work prior to finally publishing because it demonstrated to him how others read his work and understood it. He would then make notes where he realized as demonstrated by the performance that something was not written well enough or was not descriptive enough. When I write my own work, I will often proof listen to it as well read and I find that Robert Jordan is right, though my work is only ever read by computer given the lack of funding for voice talent πŸ™‚

  16. I’m an Audible “founding” member, and I love them. You didn’t mentioned that when the author reads the book, it is exactly what he/she intended. Charles Frazier read COLD MOUNTAIN, and I loved the book. You were right on target, that good readers are good performers for the story. Rarely do I miss the intention. I read 50 to 100 books a year thanks to 3/4 of them being in audio format. Being in 2 book clubs, I need to keep up the pace somehow. On another note, I’m actually disappointed to learn that Audible was bought by Amazon; I hope this won’t limit audio titles to what sells the most as their book stock shows. We need more independent booksellers!

  17. Audio books have their place. I like to listen to old favorites (like P.G. Wodehouse) on my iPod going for a walk, on the subway, etc. I find I can’t concentrate on a book on the subway. I don’t know why, but that’s the way I’ve always been. I also prefer to listen to stuff that I probably wouldn’t bother to read – trashy stuff like a Clive Cussler novel. I do think we should consider them to be inferior to reading. This is mainly because the reader does put their own emphasis on words, etc. A lot of the time they attempt different voices or accents. It’s sort of how a movie version of a character, if the movie is seen first, will affect the way I picture a character in my mind when I do read the book. Joshua Shapiro will always look like James Woods to me for that reason. I’m glad I read the Harry Potter novels before I heard Stephen Fry read them, even though he does an amazing job.

  18. I’ve been using audio books lately. I don’t think it’s that much different than reading. I don’t have time to sit down and read a book lately. Used to do it all the time. I put the audio book on in my car, on my walks, or while running and run it at 3X speed. I don’t think it matters about the narrator and their reading style at that speed, as long as I can understand the words. The important thing is now have created time to enjoy all these books when otherwise the time would have gone to waste.

  19. I’ve always been more of an audio learner. All throughout school, I got so much more from the in-class lectures than the textbooks, and I pick up details that I’d never get if I were relying solely on my visual intake by listening. I think that’s why I enjoy audiobooks so much – they stay with me and every word really sticks in my mind. The only thing I find with reading the book as opposed to listening to it is that while reading it myself, there’s more of an emotional impact. Sad parts are more upsetting, funny parts make me laugh…etc…So, again, both experiences are very different, but equally as beneficial, in my opinion.

  20. I just love my audible books…… I can here them in my cell phone while I go for a walk. I can plug it into a radio, or my mp3 player, or the desk top. I have made my net book my library where I store them all. I seem to get more done while stories are being read to me. I really don’t have the time just to sit and read. Besides, the readers are really good.! πŸ™‚

  21. Interesting post! I have been a bookworm all my life, but listened to my first audiobook this year when I found out my public library expanded their offerings. The download process to my iPod was surprisingly simple and I enjoyed my first experience much more than I thought I would. I chose a book on my TBR list: PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks. Next, I listened to UNBROKEN by Lauren Hillenbrand and I became hooked on audiobooks. UNBROKEN was not a book I was drawn to read, but listening to the story while I exercised captivated me and I found myself exercising more often and longer at a time for the “reward” of listening. I love to read books, but I think that by listening to audiobooks, especially genres I would not normally read, I will be able to add a dozen titles to the books I consume each year and that excites me.

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