The first time I heard about audiobooks, I thought it was another lazy invention. I thought this would be a horrible thing because I felt that reading is something sacred. I always respected books, partially because since early childhood I’ve liked to collect books about nature. I spent all my pocket money on them. I admired them and looked after them, as I valued them very much, and not just because they had lots of beautiful, colourful pictures in them. That didn’t change; today I value them even more.
If I think a bit philosophically about life: and if life is really cycling and circulating like most of the thing, seasons, breathing, day and night, sleep, heartbeat etc. Then, there is only one way to beat TIME: to pass on knowledge. By writing it down the knowledge could be picked up by the next cycle of life and so on.
We have relatively short lives compared to the endless Time, but once we figure out something and we think worth sharing or giving to the next generation, we can write it down, and whoever reads it might not need to start from zero. Therefore, knowledge can be very helpful. Is it worth to keep just for yourself or better share?
Today, luckily, we have multimedia, pictures, audio, video, DVD-HDPQXRT, wide, bright, double polished, curved, bent, edgeless, screens, monitors, tablets and phones, we have digital jpg, avi, dvix, flv, mp7s, etc. We can record books in audio format too and the knowledge transforms to sound. You just need two ears!
Keep in mind that with reading or listening you will get wiser. You don’t need to start from scratch, and you’ll be beating time in the short run, though in the long run, time always wins.
As a youngster, I loved to go to the library. It was one of the first “independent things” I did to get away from home. It sounded intellectual, and I could go through the strict parental control.Later on, I met my friends and we went somewhere else.
I didn’t have glasses but I loved to play with the thought that there is so much knowledge stored in the library that I could potentially have in my own head, which would be so amazing. At that time, there wasn’t any internet yet, and you couldn’t search Google in an instant. The good news is that nowadays if you wish, you can access almost any kind of information you like. You don’t even need to read flat on your bottom. You can listen to it!
Let’s have a look what you can use audiobooks for.
You can learn and gain knowledge, which is number one for me. This is very broad, as I believe you will learn unconsciously with any book you read or listen to. It widens your view, experience, feelings, and vocabulary.
You can use audiobooks just for your pleasure to enjoy yourself and relax by listening to it. You can bring to the present all the classic or contemporary literature while you just listen. Isn’t it amazing to think that some authors lived 100 years ago and wrote down a story that can come alive again in your mind?
The truth is that some books are classics, and will tell you different things at different stages of life. Sometimes it’s nice to read them again after ten years. Some books are so good that you wish that they never end. In the Vedas, the very ancient scriptures are the so-called Upanishads. The meaning of “Upanishad” is “to sit near”.
To me, to get to an audiobook is like sitting near the author and listening to his story, his wisdom, or his teachings. Some books are read by their authors, which brings them more closer to you. Some of them are read by a professional vocal artist who is a pleasure to listen to. I avoid Librivox; I know it’s free, but for me, it’s important that the book is enjoyable.
You can learn with them too. Forget the boring “have to” and “must” education go for what you like and love and learn it! If there is any subject you wish to read about to expand your expertise, you can find a book about it, and listen to it.
That is not all. Here comes my favourite section. Let’s say you wish to make some changes in your life. For example, you run a reality check on yourself, and you face that you need to lose weight, manage your time better, become more efficient, and get rid of clutter around you, and you are fed up with your procrastinating. Guess what? There is a section called Self-Help. There are about 7 billion people on earth, so surely any problem you have had, someone else has already had it, and there is a good chance that someone has already found a solution for that problem. Don’t be lazy, but be honest with yourself, and strive to be better. Fix yourself with audiobooks.
Where can you listen to these books? If you have a smartphone, then everywhere. Do you drive more than 20 minutes a day? Get an audiobook, and enjoy your trip. Any longer trip is much more fun with a book by your side. Do you like long walks? Get your earphones, and let your book come with you. Are you a creative person? Drawing, painting cooking or gardening are much more fun with an audiobook if you’re bored of your music.
What books are best to read or listen to? For the last couple years, I’ve gone through quite a bit of literature, and this is not to brag about it. My point is to motivate you to give it a go. It can help you in so many ways. I went through some of the great classics because they are long, and it took long, happy hours to listen to them. My favourites are Tolstoy, Balzac, Victor Hugo, and Dostoevsky.
If you are looking to get rid of the clutter, then check out Unstuff Your Life: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organise Your Life for Good byAndrew J. Mellen. If you like philosophy, Allan Watts is a pleasure to listen to. If you like easy listening, The Martian is an amazing story regardless of whether you’ve seen the movie, as the book has much more depth. Other recommendations: Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell,The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey. If you are an introvert you can’t ignore Susan Cain:Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.If you’re interested in eating habits, you can’t missThe China Study that book transformed my kitchen.
But if I could recommend only one book, and one book only I would be happy to advise you to read Eckhart Tolle’s the Power of Now. I listen to this book once every year. This book is very helpful even if it seems like nothing special at first glance; handle with care.
Have fun, and by all means, don’t stop reading but start listening too! Please let me know if you find some good books!