In the 21st century, it is challenging for people to spare time for themselves, especially in countries like mine, where official working hours are not respected. People who work 10 hours a day and spend a particular hour on the road naturally devote their free time to rest. One of them, of course, is me. Even though I want to spend my remaining time on my hobbies, sometimes I can’t find the strength to do it. In many parts of the world, the rate of reading books is relatively high. Unfortunately, this rate is meager in the country I am living in. It’s not just about being willing; even if people want to read a book, they cannot do it for specific reasons. Unfortunately, the crammed public transports, housework, and the need to work even on weekends make time for books a luxury.
While the workers’ problems are apparent, the situation of the non-working students is relatively better. Unfortunately, the literacy rate in Turkey decreases as age increases. The young, who mostly prefer to read Best Seller books, dedicate themselves to personal development books after entering the business world, or choose not to read at all. According to research in 2019, the rate of people reading books in Turkey is 42%. This 42% consists primarily of young people who live in the metropolis.
The worst of these rates is those who cannot remember the last book they read. For example, 47% of the respondents could not say the name of the last book they read. I gave these numbers to lay the groundwork for the subject I will try to explain shortly. Unfortunately, it is complicated for us to increase the rate of reading when only 2% of the respondents are reading e-books, and 40% are not even buying books. But here I want to ask the question: Do we have to increase the reading rate? What would happen if we increased or even encouraged the listening rate?
As technology progressed, practical solutions began to be produced in many subjects. Reading books is one of those who benefit from these practical solutions. Although it is not very common in my country, according to the latest research, audiobooks have gradually become popular by increasing 1000% worldwide. Experts define the audiobook as a newborn, but there is a substantial rate of listening to books. If you pay attention, you are probably one of them; most people who go home or work have earphones in their ears. We all love to listen to music on the way to work and check social media on the phone. According to the research, surfing on the Internet is number one among the activities enjoyed by 85%, while music is second with 82%. But over time, our habit of listening to music on the road will be replaced by audiobooks. Let me give you another interesting statistic: In 2020, the rate of listening to audiobooks increased by 20% in America, and even better, the money spent on audiobooks exceeded the money spent on e-books. This shows that audiobook is starting to be taken seriously in modern countries and is even perceived as one of the most accurate methods.
The audiobook is still a baby. Most people are prejudiced against audiobooks. Primarily because of the romance of the smell of the book, people still prefer hardcovers. A huge crowd will feel like they haven’t read a book if they don’t touch it. But I think we should focus on reading habits, or in other words, listening habits, rather than romance, especially for dense and complex societies like mine. Since we don’t have a lot of options, heading for the audiobook and encouraging it will get a lot of interaction.
Let me give you some information about audiobook-related numbers and why we should turn to audiobooks.
Preventing Waste of Paper
First of all, although most readers claim that audiobooks will not achieve the same efficiency as hand-held reading, interestingly, according to the research, it has been determined that there is no difference between listening to audiobooks, reading e-books, and hardcovers. Yes, having the book in your hand allows you to take notes and draw on it. Especially if you are using a Kindle, the sentences you have crossed out are transferred into a new note; you can see all the sentences you have noted and crossed out in a single file. Of course, you don’t have that chance with an audiobook. But as I said above, we need to leave-taking notes and book romance aside and focus only on the subject. This way, we can significantly reduce paper consumption and contribute to nature.
Audiobooks are books that don’t need to be hand-held, fit on your phone, and are easy to install. No need to carry and no need for a medium to read. Even on crowded public transport, you can listen to an audiobook with cheap headphones. If you spend a certain part of your day on the road, for example, I am someone who spends 3 hours a day on the road, the audiobook is a great option to fill these 3 hours. And you don’t have to listen to the audiobook just on the road, either. Since you don’t have to hold it in your hand, you can listen to it while washing dishes, walking, or doing sports. When you lie on your bed at night, you can easily fall asleep listening to a couple of books. Again, with the use of time, you expand your “focus” range. Unfortunately, most of us don’t use our time properly because of focus problems. Audiobooks can increase your focus time while ensuring that you use time correctly.
Short and Sweet
According to the research, audiobooks are seriously preferred, especially by men. However, it is also written that this curve shifts more towards women, especially in modern countries. Men who do not find time to read a book or do not consider reading a book valuable prefer to listen to the book. And their choices are mostly classics. Personally, I am one of them. I was always a book reader, but I preferred general culture books more instead of reading the classics. Now, I have read 10 of the 30 books that I have picked for myself in a short time, thanks to the audiobook. Or it would be more accurate to say that I listened to them. Books like Animal Farm are abridged, so they can be finished in just one day of public transport. Abridged books can be completed in a day’s commute.
Research shows that it is also revealed that audiobooks can immerse the listener more in the story. The fluency of the narrator’s narration or the fact that the narrator is well-known makes the listener more connected to the subject. For this reason, many names such as Elisabeth Moss and Benedict Cumberbatch are turning to vocalize books. Of course, having the chance to listen to a book from a loved one’s.
Effect of Sound
One of the most important misconceptions about audiobooks is that the books are read straight through. Although many books are read straight through, audiobooks are now given much more attention, both aesthetically and fictionally. Many influential voice artists vocalize the books and embellish the characters by using different voice tones from character to character. For example, the audiobook of The Lord of The Rings, which I have left the link to belove, is a book that has been recorded with solemn studio work. While each character in the book is voiced by a different person, the story is supported with music according to the instant scenes, and thanks to the sound effects, the moment is experienced precisely. Usually, when you read the book in your hand, the whole design is left to your imagination. Everything depends on your creativity, from the height of the characters to their voices and location. But the audiobook, by making the design on the table, immerses you in a ready-made world and invites you to simply live. You can literally experience the book, like a movie, without imagining it.
Learning a Language
There are many more reasons to prefer audiobooks. One of them is the fact that if you are learning a language, it will be beneficial to you. So, for example, audiobooks will improve your listening skills and solve your pronunciation problem if you are learning a foreign language, which is primarily the most important to me. Likewise, your critical thinking skills will also improve as you listen to the book. But, of course, not only will you understand what you are listening to, but you will also have the chance to umbecast and interpret. One of the most important things for a language learner to do first is to understand the other person. Because you cannot answer unless you understand.
Audiobooks have become popular in many countries. As audiobooks became more common, websites focusing on audiobooks began to augment. In my country, Storytel is the priority for those who prefer audiobooks. Unfortunately, its library is not very large. However, the existence of many classics and the voices of beautiful people make Storytel successful. For those who want to listen to English books, I can recommend the app called Audible with peace of mind. Of course, it may be expensive for those who will attend from Turkey since it is dollar-based. However, its library and sound quality are worth its money.
Translated by: Rıdvan Güler