5 Tips for Fitting in More Audiobooks

This post is part of the paid Audible Ambassador program but I love Audible all the time. I’m pretty sure that without Audible, I’d never make dinner, fold the laundry, iron, or exercise.

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.

Second, audiobooks.

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.

fitting in more audiobooks

Here are five tricks I’ve picked up for squeezing in more audiobooks!

5 tips for fitting in more audiobooks

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

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  1. I listen while I’m doing chores, cooking dinner, walking the dog, any time when I’m not interacting with others. I also keep my bluetooth headphones around my neck so when I have time I don’t have to go look for them.

    Your tip for speeding up is what got me hooked on audiobooks! I hated how slow they were since I read so fast. I consume more books by audio than by print lately! I can’t imagine 3x though. 2x is about my limit, and 1.75x is mostly my sweet spot.

    1. I’d love to start audiobooks in the car with my 5 year old boy. Can you recommend a book or series that is easy to follow for him?

  2. I’m working on crocheting a blessing dress for my baby right now, and I am plowing through audiobooks. It makes up for a really unimpressive reading month in June.

  3. I love long car rides because I can get a big chunk of a book in. Last weekend I drove back to Green Bay from Minneapolis and I knew my book was timed perfectly to be finished when I got home. Unfortunately, I got on the wrong highway after getting gas and didn’t notice for an HOUR! It added 2 hours to my trip and I was out of book. I did have a second one downloaded, but it’s hard to get into a new book when you just finished a good one.

  4. Have you played around with Overdrive’s new app Libby yet? It has 3x playback speed capability (if you drag down on the speed button, not tap it–which took me ages to figure out). I admit 2x is about perfect for me. And I love how it really is just a conversational pace–when you hold a conversation with people no one talks as slow as narrators do. As for Libby, one of my favorite features is how much easier it makes switching between different libraries that are using Overdrive.

  5. My husband and I just bought a house and we repainted the entire interior and replaced the floors (we did half of the flooring part ourselves). Between the house being 20 minutes away from where we live now and the vast amount of time I spent there alone taping and painting while my husband was at work, I’ve read more via audiobook in the last three weeks than I normally would in a couple of months’ time! I love it!

  6. I listen while I make dinner, water the garden, clean, or take a shower. I have a Bluetooth speaker and Bluetooth headphones, so I can catch snippets whenever I can. I love the idea of downloading multiple books. Finishing a book and not having another can be so frustrating. I tend to listen only to books that are kid appropriate, so I was glad to find the Amelia Peabody series by Bernadette Peters (which has at least 20 books!).

  7. I just got my cochlear ear implants two years ago and I listen to audiobooks to learn how to hear. I can understand them at the slowest speed lol I am hoping one day I can listen at a faster pace. I love all the tips you give about audiobooks! I was born deaf and I thought I would never say this but I have fallen in love with audiobooks and that all I basically listen to now.

    1. So cool, Hillary! Thank you for sharing!! I have otosclerosis* and have slowly lost my hearing over the past few decades. I had surgery on my left ear about seven years ago and had a prosthetic put in, so the volume improved on that side, but I discovered that I had to re-learn, as you said, “how to hear.” I have to wear headphones to listen to audiobooks, because ambient sound is still really hard to sort out. But I noticed that recently I can listen to my podcasts at 1.1 or 1.2 speed! (But not always.) Your experience is inspiring! And makes me think I should start listening to audiobooks sooner after I get the prosthetic in my right ear than I did after my left!

      *The small bones in my ears have calcified until they’re nearly immovable. Basically the little bone that taps on the ear drum is frozen in place.

      PS Jansenn, I JUST found your blog and love it! xo

  8. I am naturally a very fast reader but enjoy listening to audiobooks at the regular speed. I can tend to skip detail when I read so like hearing every word as it is read. The narrator definitely makes or breaks an audiobook. We have a huge garden, and I am not the garden enthusiast my husband is, but listening to audiobooks keeps me out there way longer than I would otherwise. Driving, ironing and dog walking are times I also listen to books. I’m hoping for AirPods for my birthday so I can listen untethered!

  9. I love un winding listening to Audible any time of the day, especially after a hectic shift at work ( I worked as a nurse). Last year I developed “dry eye” and Audible was my salvation since I had retired. Now, I find Audible essential to help fill in my day during this Pandemic. I have gone back a few years to reread several Titles from years ago. Boy, my retention was off on several. I am looking forward to rereading “Where the Crawdads Sing”. Being able to return books with which I am dissatisfied has been a money saver. I, otherwise, would not be a member.
    Now, this Pandemic, is such a stressor, I can listen anytime I need to divert my attention. I miss my family and friends. My sister uses Kindle and we discuss many books we have in common. My husband and I listen to some books together.
    Audible has been the best way for me to enjoy several genre and plan to continue my membership for years to come.
    Thank You Audible and you fabulous customer service

  10. I love bumping up the speed just a bit and don’t mind doing the dishes as much while I’m listening to a book!

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