Most of us should probably read more. It’s even one of the most common resolutions for 2018. There are many reasons we don’t read, the number one reason being time. Luckily for us, audiobooks give us a way to listen to books while we’re doing other things. You can enjoy an audiobook during your commute, while at the gym, etc. Keep reading for the best app for audiobooks.
What are audiobooks?
An audiobook is a recorded reading of a book. Audiobooks have been a format for quite some time. They were originally sold in a physical format on cassette and then on disc. Now they are digital. Basically, someone reads the book to you. In some cases, the author narrates their own work, but most of the time a professional narrator does the reading. Most are unabridged, but just like in printed books, an abridged version is sometimes available. Some libraries even have them available for checkout.
What is the best app for audiobooks?
There are two options: Overdrive or Audible. Overdrive gives you access to your local public library or school’s collection of audiobooks or ebooks. It’s free as long as you have the appropriate library card. If a book isn’t available you can get on the waiting list.
Audible is a commercial app for audiobooks. They have a greater selection and greater feature. They also have exclusive editions such as The Handmaid’s Tale, read by Claire Danes. You can download titles when you’re on WiFi to listen to them later or you can stream them. The audio speed can be sped up. I prefer 1.25x. You can also add bookmarks to parts you might want to come back later to listen to again.
Audible works well with other apps. Let’s say you’re driving and use an app like Waze for navigation, but you also want to listen to an audiobook. Your audiobook will pay like normal and when Waze needs to give you a direction, Audible pauses your audiobook. When the direction is finished, Audible continues with your audiobook. It’s the same for phone calls. Audible pauses your audiobook during your call and picks back up when you hang up.
The strongest feature might be the way it’s integrated into Kindle books. The feature is called Whispersync For Voice and if you buy both the Kindle and Audible version of a book your place in each is synced up. If you listen to 40 minutes of an audiobook and then open the same book on your Kindle, it will jump to the equivalent page on the Kindle. Then you can read from your Kindle. When you return to the Audible version it jumps to your place back in the audiobook. If Whispersync is available for a title, it will be listed in the description. They give you a sizeable discount on the audiobook if you buy the Kindle version first, so keep an eye out for that.
Included in an Audible subscription is a feature called Channels. If you’re familiar with podcasts, the format is very similar. You subscribe to the channels you want to listen to. The channels are from a variety of topics like comedy, short stories, books, sports, self-help, history, sci-fi and even news from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and others.
Which app is best?
They’re both good. If you have access to a library, give Overdrive a try. It won’t cost you anything. The basic subscription for Audible is $14.95 a month which gives you a credit for one audiobook. They have other options where you can subscribe for a year or two at a time and get all your credits up front and save some money in the long run. If you try Audible, make sure you use your credits for titles that cost more than your monthly fee and just pay for the titles that are less.
I’ve been listening to audiobooks for over ten years and wouldn’t want to deal with my daily commute without them. Give it a try, you’ll love it.