When people ask how I get so much reading in, my answer basically boils down to two things.
First, I’m a very fast reader. I never learned speed reading (and the idea doesn’t particularly appeal to me), but my natural reading speed is pretty high.
With my regular life going on all day, every day, my reading time is super fragmented and audiobooks are perfect for filling those holes with more reading time and over the years, I’ve gotten better at incorporating more audiobook listening into my daily life.
Here are five tricks I’ve picked up for squeezing in more audiobooks:
- Have a couple downloaded and ready to go. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve started an audiobook and for whatever reason, whether it’s the narrator, the storyline, or something else, it just doesn’t grab me. So then I just don’t listen to anything because I don’t want to listen to that one. Or I finish something and have nothing queued up and so days go by where I could have been listening to something but there was nothing ready for me. Now I try to always keep at least two or three audiobooks downloaded so that if one of them doesn’t appeal to me or when I finish something up, I have lots of options ready to go.
- Choose a series. On paper, I find series to be a little intimidating – do I really want to commit to reading three or four or five books? But on audio, I love a series. After Star was born, I listened to the Burn for Burn trilogy and it was such a nice feeling to know that as soon as I finished the first, I could move right on to the second and then the third.
- Listen with your children in the car. Most of the books I listen to are ones I wouldn’t listen to with my children, so I try to keep separate ones that we listen to together in the car. It keeps them all super happy as we run errands and it’s fun to be able to talk about the storyline together. Right now, we’re listening to Wednesdays in the Tower, and Ani talks to me non-stop about griffins, which is just so cute. Plus, it makes the driving a lot more interesting to me too.
- Listen to an audiobook while you exercise. I find that music just does not really help me when I exercise – I need something that really engages me and distracts me from the fact that my lungs want to explode (after I’ve run approximately ten steps because I’m a wimp). Audiobooks are the perfect solution for me. When I was listening to My Lady Jane last month, I was dying to go exercise just to squeeze in another 25 minutes of listening.
- Turn up the speed. I know, I always say this. But truly, I think one of the best things about Audible is that you can crank up the speed. I usually listen at 1.75 or 2x, depending on the narrator, but Audible is also the only audiobook service I know of that goes up to triple speed (I don’t listen on this speed, but Bart listened to The Way of Kings series at triple speed when he was driving back and forth to Las Vegas from Arizona a few summers ago during his internship). Even just bumping up to 1.25x will help you get through a lot more books than you would otherwise and you’ll be amazed how fast you stop noticing the faster talking.
Any other tricks for squeezing in more audiobooks?