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Audiobook 101: A Guide on the Where and How+ 12 Amazing Audiobook Recommendations

Hello everyone! This year there has been a big change in my reading life which is: Audiobooks! I had never tried audiobooks before because I was never sure if it was for me and I was always worried if I’ll be able to concentrate well enough to actually understand. But then my friend Nandini @ Novels and Nebulas convinced me to give them a try because she always said how convenient they were. So I did and I am so glad I could do that.

Since the last six months where I have started listening to audiobooks, I have noticed how much my consumption habits have changed. So I thought it would be really good if I could write on how I started and what I did which made me more comfortable with audiobooks so that maybe it can help you’ll too.

WHY YOU SHOULD TRY AUDIOBOOKS

  1. Audiobooks can be listened to anytime and anywhere.
  2. Convenient to listen to between study breaks and work breaks.
  3. It is also really good to listen to audiobooks when doing household chores like laundry or cooking which can put you in a good mood.
  4. Audiobooks speed feature helps to read faster. In case you find yourself listening to a boring book and you don’t feel like DNFing you can always speed it up and finish.
  5. Once you are comfortable with a fast speed, it is much easier to finish books faster.

WHERE TO START

There are many audiobook apps out there but four which are most popular are: Scribd, Storytel, Audible and Libro.fm. Libro.fm is one of the best as they also support independent bookstores but is not available outside the US. I was accepted in their ALC program through which I get some amazing audiobooks every month and this was how I actually started listening to audiobooks! If you would like to try Libro.fm you can use my Referral link.

Storytel is a really good app as well from what I’ve heard but I haven’t personally used it so I can’t say much. Nandini @ Novels and Nebulas has used this app and she loves it because of it’s reasonable price, good collection and unlimited choices. This isn’t available in all countries but if it is, this is a really good app!

Audible is not highly recommended because you can only listen to some audiobooks every month instead of the unlimited options available in the other apps. So I haven’t tried it. There’s also an article by Libro.fm recently on The Harmful Impact of Audible Exclusive Audiobooks. 

Scribd is what I use to listen to audiobooks. Scribd is a great app because it has a great collection and it also allows you to do a 60 day free trial period. There is some algorithm issues sometimes where certain audiobooks become unavailable for a week or two. But other than that, I love it! ( Self-Plug: If you’d like to try Scribd, you can use my referral link, which would give you 60 days free trial and give me 30 days free too!) You can click on the link here: SCRIBD TRIAL

Now that you know where to start from, let’s move on to how.

My first ever audiobook was Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert and it was such an amazing start for me. It was simply fun and awesome and I loved the narrator. I suggest that whenever you start, you should start with something light and fun so that you can adjust to this new medium of reading books. Romance books or contemporary books are a great start. Of course, if you like you can start with fantasy too but for me starting with romance worked better.

When I started I used to listen to 1x speed because it was my first time but every new audiobook I started I increased it one stage more, that is, 1.5x and then 1.8x.I currently listen to 1.8x or 2x depending on the book. But this isn’t something you should try directly on your first listen either because it can get overwhelming. If you increase it gradually, you’ll be able to adjust better plus also get more comfortable easily.

Most of the audiobooks apps have settings for timer where you can keep a timer for an hour or for 2 hours after which it will automatically pause. This helps if you listen to audiobooks before sleeping. There also bookmarking options while listening which I haven’t tried much yet. But here’s a wonderful guide by Kal @ Reader Voracious on how to do it in Audible, which you can try in other apps in case it works or tweak it accordingly: How to Take & Access Notes in Audible.

Usually, I just bookmark a particular part of the audiobook I like and come back to it if I want to hear it which has worked so far for me! I take notes from those parts later sometimes though of course this can turn out to be tedious if it’s too many notes.

Having a good narrator

I am sure you’ve heard people talk about narrators of audiobooks and that is because it is so important to have a good narrator since that determines the whole experience of the book. Some narrators can get the pronunciations wrong which can affect the experience. Overall, my experience till now has been good. You can always try out for 2-3 chapters if the voice and tone suits you and then decide accordingly.

Netgalley has also recently taken out their new audiobook feature. I haven’t requested any as of now since I already have so many to read and listen but the whole feature has good reviews till now.

There’s also an amazing video with audiobook recommendations which Fadwa @ Word Wonders did on her Booktube channel which you must totally check out: Audiobook Recommendations and Where to find them.

NOW ONTO THE RECS!

6 AUDIOBOOKS I LOVED

The Poet X and Clap When You Land- Elizabeth Acevedo (narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo)

You Should See me in a Crown- Leah Johnson(narrated by Alaska Johnson)

The Serpent’s Secret- Sayantani DasGupta(narrated by Sayantani DasGupta)

We Set the Dark on Fire- Tehlor Kay Meija (narrated by Kyla Garcia)

Get A Life, Chloe Brown- Talia Hibbert(narrated by Adjoa Andoh)

6 AUDIOBOOKS I WANT TO READ

Harley in the Sky- Akemi Dawn Bowman (narrated by Ali Ahn)

Shadow of the Fox- Julie Kagawa(narrated by Joy Osmanski)

The Black God’s Drums by P.Djeli Clark (narrated by Channie Waites)

I Love You So Mochi- Sarah Kuhn (narrated by Natalie Naudus)

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi ( narrated by Christopher Myers)

Caster by Elsie Chapman(narrated by Emily Woo Zeller)

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Do you listen to audiobooks? Did I convince you to start? I really hope you found this helpful! If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll try my best to answer!

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29 thoughts on “Audiobook 101: A Guide on the Where and How+ 12 Amazing Audiobook Recommendations

  1. ah, this is such a great guide! sadly, my free trial on scribd ended (i didn’t know there was a 60 day trial, so i settled for the 30 day one rip), so i don’t have access to any audiobooks right now, but i really agree with all your tips! technically, 1x speed is normal, but it sounds SO slow for me now that i regularly listen at 2x 😅 i love elizabeth acevedo audiobooks so much—i think her background in slam poetry makes her such a good narrator!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can always start your trial again if you’d like! Ans I agree that 1x sounds too slow for me too now! So now I can listen to much faster speed!
      I love Elizabeth Acevedo so much too! Her narration is the best. 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great Post 💚 For a long time I was very anti-audiobook because the narrators were SO SLOW. Once I figured out how to speed it up to x2 or x2.5 I was hooked. I have only listened to audiobooks available from the library, so I will have to check out some of the other places you recommended!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not an audiobook fan but I started loving them recently. Mostly, I use them now to give my eyes some rest since I work on laptop ALL DAY. (WFH is not that great smh). Anyway, this is a great post! I like how you shared what kind of books to start with etc. I’m looking to forward to reading Clap When You Land sometime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love listening to audiobooks! Half of what I read this year was audiobooks! My favourite audiobook of all time is The Brilliant Death — the narrator kills it and the story is amazing as well (two genderfluid shapeshifter kids on a revenge mission)!! Loved your post!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Krisha! It took me a while to get used to audiobooks but they’ve been my saviour throughout lockdown 😂

    I listened to Shadow of the Fox recently and really enjoyed it! And I read Harley in the Sky in print, it’s a great book and a unique approach to mental health stories which I really appreciated 🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post, Krisha!! I’ve actually never listened to an audiobook all the way through before, and was convinced that audiobooks are just “not for me.” So, I’m super excited to try your recommendations! I love that you included the different platforms for audiobooks ~ I’ll be trying the Scribd free trial!!

    Anyways, amazing post, like always! ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great post! I use an app called Libby that’s associated with my local library, and it’s so great for audiobooks. Can’t wait to check out some of your recommendations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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