I had a blog reader ask me how to listen to audio books. Well…first off I want to say that there are many different ways and really no one right way. They question also made me realize how much I take for granted. I too often have questions like this and then pester my kids until someone explains it all to me. I’m not nearly as thankful that they provide tech services for me as I should be…anyway…
This is what I know about listening to audiobooks. Like I mentioned in the first paragraph, there are many ways…you only need to find one that works for you.
First off…you need an electronic device or computer or ipad or kindle or smartphone or something to listen to the book on. Before buying anything, make sure it will work for where you want to listen. For example, I listen a lot while I’m at the quilting machine. A quilt often takes several hours to machine quilt and listening helps pass the time. For me, I want something in my pocket that can plug into headphones as the quilting machine is loud.
In the past I had an MP3 Player. For that I downloaded the book to my computer and then onto the MP3 player. This is a good option if you don’t have a smartphone but want to be portable.
a downfall is…this uses headphones and you might not want to be on headphones all the time.
Then you might also want to purchase a speaker…
If you’re sitting and cross stitching and what to listen, it might work for you to use a laptop you can move to the chair you sit at or a ipad/kindle type device might be helpful.
Me..I mainly use my smartphone. It can do what I want and is portable. My phone is really a universal tool for me and I can’t imagine life without it anymore. Could I live without it, yes. But it does so many things for me including helping me listen to audiobooks.
I do have a speaker and use it frequently especially in my quilting room when I am at a domestic machine. I highly recommend a speaker. I have THIS ONE….I can turn it on and got to the bathroom in the next door room and still hear. I can dig in the closet and still hear.
I do have this nice set of headphones for when I’m at the quilting machine. I don’t like earbuds. Mine I got before bluetooth was around…you can find them HERE. Nowadays I would recommend bluetooth.
So after your device is picked, you want to know the program you are going to use to get your books from. I love Audible (Find it HERE) but it is a paid subscription. If you want to get the books you really-really want, you might need Audible as some publishing companies don’t let libraries purchase books anymore. (Bummer I know) If you purchase a book here, it’s yours. Take as long as you want to read it.
Most public libraries have some sort of online option for listening to books. Our little local library doesn’t but the county library does. I use that. The problem, the wait list to get a book I want is for FOREVER. No joke. It can be a six month wait and then the book has to be listened to in 14 days. This frustrated me so I heard about a different option….
That is Hoopla. Well you have to have a library that supports Hoopla to get it. I find a library an hour away from me that allows out of county residents to use the program. I was thrilled as here, I don’t have to wait for books and I get the books for 21 days. If I don’t finish in that time, I can check out the book again and my place in the book was kept. I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE this….but it’s kind of hard to find rurally.
For smartphones, computers and ipad/kindles, you have to download the program you plan to listen from so you go to the play store and get the app. All of these are free apps. Download it and put in your account information that you set up…now you’re ready to download a book….
I like to look on the computer and find the books I want. I check them out and then they are “in my library”. Later I go to my phone, open the app and the book is already in my library. That way I’m not on a tiny screen searching for books.
From there you just tap the book on the screen and start listening.
If you simply want to try listening to an audiobook for the first time, listen on your computer first before you buy any new equipment. Then you don’t have the investment of a device if you don’t have one already.
I jumped in and invested and soon as I knew about audiobooks and MP3 players. I LOVED being read to as a child and to me, that’s what audiobooks are…someone is just reading to me. I listen to audiobooks like most people listen to the radio. I listen in the car, when I’m folding laundry…when I’m making supper…when I’m sewing. I’d rather listen to a book than the radio…one advantage, no commercials!!
If you use a library as your audiobook source, I’m sure they have someone there that can help walk you through it all. It sounds like a really long process if you aren’t used to technology but it’s not bad at all once you get a book downloaded.
I know if you have children, they can likely walk you through the process…they can also gift you some money for Christmas to get set up to listen…or enhance your listening with headphones or a speaker. My kids love to get ideas for something I’d like.
There are other free sources for listening to books but most of them are for classic books only. To date, I haven’t tried them.
Readers, it’s your turn. If you have any other information to pass along about listening to audiobooks, please leave a comment in the comment section. Also if you know of any other free online sources to get books, please list them.
Figuring out how to listen to audiobooks was one of the best things I’ve done. I do have to admit that I have started listening to a few podcasts. I don’t like them as well…but I keep thinking I haven’t found “the one” yet. If you’re interested in learning how to listen to podcasts, check out Kalissa’s blog on that HERE. She was able to write that as she had to help me learn…I guess we’re all learning something…
If you have any others questions..please ask.