Saturday, October 4, 2014

How Podcasts Have Changed My View on Audiobooks

In the past month, I have become OBSESSED with podcasts. Like seriously, OBSESSED. I have not used my iPod to listen to music in weeks because all I want to do is listen to my constant stream of unplayed podcasts. And I have 109 of those with everyday bringing more episodes which doesn't make me feel hopeless like, "Oh my GOD, I'm never going to get through all of these!". Instead it makes me feel elated that I can waste away more hours listening to random people speak about different topics.

Prior to this past month, I treated podcasts with the same disinterest as I did with audiobooks but without even knowing too much about them. I just knew I wasn't interested. Nope, not my thing. Moving on. But once a friend explained to me the basics of podcasting and urged me to download my QUEEN TYLER OAKLEY'S PODCAST, I thought "Okay maybe I SHOULD check this out because it's TYLER OAKLEY. I love him and should see what it's all about."

And then, the rest is kinda history... I mean, I legitimately spend hours a day now listening to podcasts and checking up on all my subscriptions and finding more to download.

So now that I have changed my perspective and opinion on podcasts, I feel like it kinda begs the question: what about audiobooks?

The main reason why I was so opposed to audiobooks was that I felt I would get distracted easily. That it would hard for me to keep my attention on the story. That I would get bored and want to do other things and then the story would get totally lost on me. I'm sure there were other reasons but for me, that was the main reason why I didn't think audiobooks would work for me.

But podcasts apparently DO work for me and they aren't so different from audiobooks... I mean, sure, maybe different type of material but in essence, it's the same. I'm using my two ears instead of my two eyes. And it seems like it's been going fine, so does my reasoning for not wanting to delve into audiobooks still hold up?

Well... kinda. I mean, as long as I'm not doing anything else at the time of listening to the podcast, I won't get distracted. But if I AM doing something else, then I will get distracted which is rather inconvenient as often times, I don't have the luxury of just lying around for hours listening to a podcast. The only time I can really give it my full attention is right before I go to sleep. Other times, I get distracted either by what I'm doing or my own thoughts.

But apart from that, I've also come to realize that listening to someone speak is very hard to do so in public areas with loud buses, loud people and NOISE everywhere around you. Unless you want to blast your eardrum by turning your iPod on full volume which I frankly would rather not do. With music though (at the same volume), I find that it doesn't take me as much effort to be able to discern what is going on when a subway train whooshes by. Maybe that's been like scientifically proven that melodies are easier to hear than more monotonous speaking. Honestly? I have no idea. That's just been what my experience is and so because of that, I've refrained from listening to podcasts in noisy areas (so, the public) because it's hard for me to hear unless I have it super loud which I don't want to do which results in me having to replay all sections because I missed them.

And finally, listening to podcasts takes a LOT of time. Most of them are half an hour to an hour or even more in length which means it takes me about two hours to get through approximately two podcasts on average. And think about it, books are LONG. So how much time do you think I'd have to spend listening to a book? Probably well over ten hours. Maybe twenty hours. ROUGH GUESSES but I'm sure it won't be anything to scoff at. So why would I want to spend twenty hours getting through a book when I can do so in three or four hours by manually reading it? I get that audiobooks might be the better way to go for some but for me, when I have the time to read actual books, I feel like it makes more sense to do so that way. In fact, listening to audiobooks would probably suck up MORE of my time since I can't multitask while listening. Just imagine how long it'd take me to get through ONE BOOK!

On the other hand, I've always loved getting read to and one of my favourite parts of listening to podcasts is being able to have someone tell me a story and to hear their voice. I know that sounds so creepy but it's comforting in a way. And it's one of the reasons why I love podcasts and why they've worked so well for me. And I'm holding out hope that audiobooks are going to be the same for me. That I'm going to try them and fall in love.

I can't help but still be a TINY bit skeptical but based on my experience with podcasts which has been really positive, I feel like this could be the start of something new! So I'm going to make it a goal to find an audiobook and listen to it by the end of this December. Let's see how it's going to go!

What about you? Do you like audiobooks? How do they work for you? How do you listen to them? If you don't like audiobooks, why not? Do you have similar feelings as I do towards them? Do you listen to podcasts? If so, WHICH ARE YOUR FAVOURITE? If not, I have recs if you're into them! Podcasts galore!

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