By Clay Parlette
One of the things I miss the most about my childhood is an old hobby of mine that used to consume many free and comfy hours of my days: reading. I still love reading a lot, but let’s face it, no matter what your major, ain’t nobody got time for that anymore. If I’m not reading a textbook, writing a paper, or attending some meeting on campus, I’m probably sleeping, or at the very least, on my phone scrolling through Instagram and Twitter. It’s something I lament every once in a while, that I can’t even really remember the last time I read a book just for leisure. Lucky for college students and everyone else, it’s 2015, and there’s an awesome solution to those of us who can’t read like we used to. It’s called Audible.com.
An Amazon company, Audible is a membership-based website that offers virtually unlimited audible book titles to users for a set monthly rate—sort of like the concept of Netflix. Titles are easily accessible through the mobile app or on your computer at home. While reading carries many benefits, listening to a book can be just as intriguing, just in a different kind of way. Audible books allow us to indulge in stories that we may not have otherwise discovered because of time availability or other barriers. The coolest part about audible books is that many of them are read by the actual author of the book. What better way to experience a story than by hearing it come from the author’s mouth?
One thing that many don’t think about is the challenge many are faced with when it comes to reading because of visual impairments or other disabilities. I recently heard a story about an elderly man whose depression was significantly assuaged when he was introduced to audible books. How cool is that? This invention has proven to be miraculous in helping everyone be able to enjoy the greatness of reading, no matter what the situation.
Today, audible books have began replacing radio, TV, social media, and other kinds of less-interesting forms of entertainment. They have transformed downtime, work time, drive time, and exercise time to become a simultaneous story time. And, because these are the same titles you would read in a bound book or on a Kindle, you learn just as much and will probably be just as enthralled with the stories as you would if you were reading them.
I was initially skeptical about the significance of audible books, but have since come to see them as a huge blessing to our world. Just like the e-reader began the process of modernizing the age-old activity of reading, audible books keep the excitement of books alive. They provide a more accessible way for busy people to indulge in a story and they act as a platform for those who otherwise would be unable to enjoy books. If I like a book enough, I might even try reading it and then listening to it. What could be better than lying in the sand with your Beats and listening to a
compelling story on Audible as you watch the sky? Well, maybe the textbook companies should take note. It would save me a lot of dang time if all of my textbooks talked to me. Perhaps that’s a reality for the next generation.