How (and Why) to Enjoy Audiobooks

As June is Audiobook Month, I’ve been pondering why I enjoy them so much.

They save time. I can listen to them in the car [commuting or on road trips]; walking my 10,000 steps; waiting around for music lessons and the other kid’s activities to be over; de-cluttering the house; folding laundry and the ever popular, Yard Work. These are all activities that I really don’t like and listening to a book can makes the task less odious.

I listen to all kinds of content: fiction & nonfiction; short stories & full length novels; all types of genres. I try to mix it up. Here are some recommendations from our CD Audiobook Collection:



You’ll note that when I recommend an audiobook, I’ve included the reader in this blog write up. A good audiobook is all about the reader. A good reader makes the book a great listening experience. Sometimes I’ll explore a book just because I enjoy listening to the reader. Who knew that cholera could be so fascinating! Alan Sklar makes it so in Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map.

CD audiobooks are wonderful in the car and in the house [I play mine on my son’s Xbox] but there are times you just want the tale on something a little more portable so why not try the audiobook content the Bentley Library provides through OverDrive. OverDrive adds hundreds of titles for you to choose from. Just download the free app or stream audiobooks online via OverDrive Listen and away you go on your own device [I use my iPhone, but the files play on many different devices.]

There currently are 403 fiction & 268 nonfiction audiobooks available through OverDrive. Here are a few to start with:

Audiobooks are a great way of refreshing your memory in anticipation of the next book in the series or the next movie release. I can’t wait for the next book in the Lisbeth Salander series called The Girl in the Spider’s Web which will be out in September 2015, so I’m listening to the earlier novels now. The movie, A Walk in the Woods, is also coming out in September, so it might be fun to listen to the book first.

[Audiobook tip: Depending on the content, you might want to pause before going through the drive through. Some clerks can give you interesting looks when certain words or phrases travel to their ears.]

Listening can be a fun family activity especially on a road trip. I wouldn’t recommend all the titles in this blog post as examples of stories to listen to with your kids, but I have listened with my 10 year old to the Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series [Read by Joshua Swanson] and the Harry Potter series [Read by Jim Dale] which are available through most public libraries and the following titles from the Bentley Library: Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West [Performed by John McDonough], The Graveyard Book and Watership Down, both listed above. The choice really depends on the interest and maturity of your kids, but an audiobook can make a road trip much more enjoyable especially when the charge for their electronics fade…

[OverDrive tip: Check with your local public library for additional OverDrive content.]

Well, if you’ve never tried an audiobook, I hope that this post has encouraged you take a chance on one. If you already are an audiobook fan, I hope you enjoy these suggestions. If you have any suggestions of titles you’d like the Bentley Library to consider purchasing, please let us know. Your recommendations and feedback are always welcome. As I am always looking for the next great reader and stories to follow, feel free to drop me a line when you find one. Happy summer listening.


Want more audiobook title recommendations? Check out the Bentley Library’s Top 10 listings.

3 thoughts to “How (and Why) to Enjoy Audiobooks”

  1. Great blog post.

    Strange coincidence that I had had just heard a friend lamenting that retired Bentley employees can not borrow audio books. I don’t understand keeping such a wonderful resource from those of the greater Bentley community with interests like my own.

    Great thought that this month is for listening… You’ve convinced me it is time to check out some of the digital audio resources. Another task to be taken up on my smart phone.

    Agree about a good reader, because you just like listening that much more to a voice adept with a theatrical characterizations and clear narrative. Just began GRAVEYARD and found it after searching the on-line catalog for Gaiman’s audios: TRIGGER WARNINGS and also OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE.

  2. Hi Martha,
    Thank you for your kind words. I just double checked with Library Services and retired Bentley employees can borrow the titles in the Audio Collection. Please feel free to pass this information along to your friend. I’m listening to Trigger Warning now and can compare notes in a few weeks.

  3. Just wanted to alert to some new Overdrive content for those long car rides with the kids. The Harry Potter novels and Chronicles of Narnia were just added to Overdrive this month. Definitely check them out.

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