Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Everyone Loves a Great Audiobook

Great Audiobooks for young elementary, middle school, high school, adults, and families.   Plus a little How audiobooks can help you or your child as a reader. Alohamora Open a Book

Audiobooks are fabulous!  I love listening to them as I run, drive, pack (like my sister or friend have to do this week), or just clean around the house.  I love being able to "read" aka hear a story and still do other things at the same time.  Audiobooks are the ultimate book lovers multi-tasking tool! 

If you haven't gotten into the fabulousness of audiobooks you really should.  

Today I'm giving you the low down on audiobooks... when they are helpful, where to get them, and the best audiobooks around aka which ones to avoid so you don't go crazy while listening to them.

When are audiobooks helpful? 

If you struggle with the old English writing like Dickens, Bronte, or Austen but you want to read a "classic" try listening to it.  The reader will help you get by the language/writing of that time period and get into the story.  I found many books like Persuasion by Jane Austen can be found online for free  including on YouTube, or for a free download.  Therefore, you can listen at home or whenever is convenient.    

Children and beginning/early readers can HUGELY benefit from listening to an audiobook as well.  If you have a child who struggles to read or doesn't enjoy it b/c it's hard then try having the child listen to the audiobook as they follow along in text.  This is a great benefit to the kids.  They will learn what good reading sounds like, they can be independent and "read" a story on their own, and their comprehension will improve as well because they are listening as well as "reading"/looking a the text.  There are a ton of children's audiobooks for free, YouTube has MagicTreehouse books read for free as well as numerous other sites.  

As surprising as this fact may be... I LOVE to bake, and I LOVE to eat the food I bake.  Seriously, I go on vacation and am disappointed by the hard or flavorless treats I get in a bakery.  I love baking and eating so I have to balance out that love with exercising.  I love to exercise.  When I go on long training runs or long races I love to listen to audiobooks.  A few months ago I ran my first Ragnar Relay.  I ended up listening to The Five Love Languages of Children and thoroughly enjoyed all of my runs b/c I could listen to a fun book with an interesting concept.

Audiobooks are helpful and useful tools for a multitude of purposes and reasons.  

Where can you get audiobooks?

Obviously, your Local Library has CD audiobooks for your next roadtrip.  They also have programs like OverDrive that let you download it to your phone, Tablet, e-reader like Kindle/iPad, iPod, or MP3 player.  Lots of choices here and they are all FREE!

YouTube as I listed and linked above has a TON of audiobooks on there that you can listen to while you are at home.  You could listen to it on your Smart Phone as well, but it may eat your battery and data. 

iTunes has many classic books (with the copyright no longer valid) that are free, like this Persuasion one. You can also buy books there; the price varies though from quite affordable to a bit pricey.  However, for a last minute audiobook purchase for a race or drive the next day, I found the cost bearable.   

Amazon is a clear "go to" place as well.  You can buy audio cds, or even download files directly to your kindle.  When you look up a book just be sure to see what version (Kindle, paperback, hardback, Audio CD) you are buying.  Some of the books you have to specifically type in Audiobook, and some are connected with the books other versions/formats.  

There are some books with Amazon where you can listen to the book with a free Audible App on your kindle or Android phone.  This Persuasion book/audio illustrates that concept.   

As always, you can easily Google books and audiobooks to find other books.  You can google "free audiobooks" and find lots of generic ones, but I prefer to type the title of the book I am looking for and audiobook to see what options I have.  

Personally, the library is my first choice and Google searches are my last, but these options above should leave you well equiped/knowledgeable in the "Where to get/find audiobooks" department. 

Great Audiobooks for young elementary, middle school, high school, adults, and families.   Plus a little How audiobooks can help you or your child as a reader. Alohamora Open a Book

What are the BEST Audiobooks to Listen/Read? 

This is a great sci-fi action book for anyone with middle school kids and up.  My husband LOVED listening to this one on a road trip with just the two of us.

This is a fabulous  non-fiction book for adults and college students.  It has a lot of life lessons that leave you really thinking. 
For my thoughts/review click here

From my blog title (a spell "To Open" in the Harry Potter books) you may notice that I am a pretty big HP fan.  The reader for the Harry Potter series is fabulous.  This book series is great for elementary kids and up.  Though, the later books in the series may be better for older kids.  Adults will love this series as well!

An action filled Young Adult (YA) dystopian book that is enjoyed by boys and girls as well as the young and old.  B/c of the action in this book it is probably best suited for teens and up.   I have a good friend that loves this audiobook for her half-marathon races.  

A fascinating social sciences type of book that leaves you thinking about things in a different light.  Teenagers to adults could enjoy this, but the adults probably enjoy this non-fiction book the most. 

This book hits theaters late summer/early fall.  It's a fabulous dystopian classic with a great reader for this book that middle school kids and up will enjoy. 

A great classic fantasy series for the whole family to enjoy. 

This is a fabulous book and one I dearly love.  Living in a museum sounds wonderful and fascinating!  The whole family can enjoy this classic. 

David Tennant is the reader and he is amazing.  This is also a really fun fantasy book series the entire family can enjoy

These books are fabulous, funny, and the whole family will thoroughly enjoy them.  I love that they are read by Roald Dahl as well.  How fun to hear the author read them! 

An absolute classic that if you or your children have not read or listened to (at least the first one) you should.  Your whole family will enjoy this classic. 

This one is super long, but the version read by Bill Homewood is the best.  I love classics for audiobooks b/c if your children have not read them, this may be the only opportunity they get to hear the awesome story.  This book is fabulous and teenagers and older will love it! 

To be honest, any book that you really love/like is probably a good audiobook.  Lately, I have found the readers to be quite good, and I haven't had any qualms with any audiobook readers I've listened too.  

 However, as a disclaimer stay away from dramatized readings, unless you are the dramatic type.   I feel the dramatized versions are way too distracting to really hear the story; They drive me crazy!  

Lastly, if you still need more ideas of good books to listen/read check out my Books Page for all of my book lists and book reviews.  There are plenty of good ones there! 

Do you have a favorite audio book?  I'd love to hear what it is. 

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