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Audiobooks saved my love for reading

I just finished listening to the whole saga of Harry Potter and I suddenly realized how much audiobooks saved my love for reading. In the last year alone I read probably ten books and all of them were audiobooks and guess what? I have no intention of stopping it because I love them.

Audiobooks have exploded in recent years and they are in my opinion the future of storytelling. They are the best tool that can be used in today’s busy world. A tool that, thanks to the technology that this generation can afford, can be consumed everywhere.

But audiobooks are not new. I remember where I was a child and I had a full collection of audiotapes for children’s books. I remember that, at the time at least, I didn’t give much credit to it. I still preferred to read paper books (as ebooks weren’t a thing at all).

Yet the concept of listening to a story remained with me until recent years in which this new amazing tool became so widely accepted that I can’t stop using it.

Future of storytelling:

Nowadays every writer is required to have their book published in the three main forms: paperback, ebook, and audiobook because you have to accommodate the needs of everybody and because technology is going in a direction in which everything will be digitized.

And this is going so far that many authors are even able to record their own stories into audiobooks. With today’s technology it is not even that expensive to have a decent setup that could allow you to get great quality from the comfort of your home.

If we think about youtube, there are so many videos that the sole idea of thinking about watching them all it can be exhausting but a massive quantity of this is just somebody looking at a camera and speaking for 20 or 30 minutes and this is the reason why many people decided to move their podcast on Spotify where you have just to listen the same thing that you will otherwise listen on an app (Youtube) that require a massive monthly payment just to be kept open when your screen is black. And these podcasts are a sort of audiobook. It is a nonfiction book, if we will.

Bonus point: There are tons of audiobooks on spotify too

There is even a very specific type of story format that works so well in only audio format that his explosion in the market had slowly started and it is most probably on the way of breaking the market. I am speaking about audio dramas which are audiobooks in which characters only talk, there is no background storytelling except for environmental noise that allow you to imagine the environment into which those characters are.

The episodes of these audio dramas are generally way shorter than normal chapters of books but the amount of acting goes so far to make this character speak as if they were real, as if they were having real conversations.

The two most famous audio dramas in circulation are the science fiction drama The Sojourn by Daniel Orrett and the supernatural thriller The secret of St. Kilda. The greatness of this particular format is that in way less time than a book (or even an audiobook) you have a full story read and finished.

Why are audiobooks so great?

A user on twitter told me that the fact that audiobooks are becoming so popular is like the serpent biting his own tail since oral tradition was the original storytelling and now we come back and speak our stories in a commercial way. But this isn’t the reason why they are so popular.

Honestly, in recent times I found picking up a physical book, or even an audiobook, a chore of incredible tasks, even the shorter ones. When I first started listening to them, I had this idea only to listen to very long books and then to read shorter ones and this was because of a bias that society had and maybe still have against everything that is not a paper book.

People today wants to have his own library full of books, they want to smell the books and to show how much they read and that is ok but, for me, I have lots of things to do so when I am able to simply put my headset on and walk to the gym or to work or sit in the cafe and to try to look introvert enough to show people that I don’t want to be disturbed.

A book requires a massive level of attention and it doesn’t allow you to do other things while you read. A movie is less demanding and yet, talking characters are just part of the equation and the need to actually watch the movie makes it equally annoying. I, myself, sometimes put a movie in the background when I work on my pc but they are generally movies that I already know and/or don’t require much attention because they are mainly spoken (like a podcast, or an audiobook), do you see how the serpent is coming back?

On the other hand, audiobooks are the perfect mix between them. The only attention needed is the one to the reader of the book and here we reach the final points of this all, the reason why some audiobooks have reached a level of perfection undreamt before.

Since audiobooks had become so popular, publishing houses had started capitalizing over them and to market them above any dream and today there are world class actors that actually read audiobooks and most of the time, those are actors that actually played in the movie adaptations of those books.

Benedict Cumberbatch read the whole Sherlock Holmes series and Andy Serkis had read The Lord of the Rings trilogy and so on and those are world class actors with incredible voices and a love for the story they are interacting with. The joy that those people put in these readings is incredible and this is how they saved my love for reading.

-ldmarchesi

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