Your Audiobook Primer: 4 Tips To a Have You Listening Like A Pro

music-791631_1280At Readerly, we absolutely adore audiobooks. If for audiobook month, we could make any new audiobook converts, we would be absolutely thrilled. Many readers have problems making the switch initially and quickly decide that they are not wired correctly for audiobooks and that they just can’t listen to them.

Not so! Reading a book with your ears is actually a type of literacy that is related to, but ultimately different from, the literacy of reading a book with your eyes. Listening to a story is a unique skill that must be learned and practiced just like the skills you learned to make you a good reader way back in elementary school.

So how can you practice this skill of audio literacy? Not to worry, we have a few tips to get you started:

  • Use audio time for re-reads. A lot of people have trouble concentrating throughout the entire book when they first start listening, especially in the first half hour. If you listen to something you’ve already read and loved it won’t matter so much if you zone out a few times, because you won’t be missing any integral parts of the plot.
  • Listen to audiobooks with less complex storylines. Books with a lot of stuff going on and where the point of view bounces back and forth can make for great audiobooks, but you really have to pay attention to figure out what is going on, so these aren’t a great choice if you’re just starting out.
  • Listen to fast-paced, highly-engaging stories. Mysteries, thrillers, and romance all make for good audiobooks for beginners, because they tend to be quickly paced and catch your attention quickly. We love literary fiction, but if you’re just starting in audiobooks we don’t recommend you listen to them just yet.
  • Listen to the best of the best narrators. Ask your listening friends for their favorite narrators, but if you see something by one of these guys or gals you’re probably in good shape: Khristine Hvam, Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin, Simon Vance, Rosalyn Landor, Dan Savage, Scott Brick, Katherine Kellgren, and Wil Wheaton.

There you go! Make a point this June to try listening to something and let us know about your experiences at or @readerly_mag on Twitter.