The discovery of audio books took me back to my childhood. I remember listening to stories on my jukebox-look-a-like tape player; it helped me settle into sleep.
Audible.com.au is offering a free month trial (which comes with a free book download) and I was curious. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would use it extensively. But I was mistaken. I would go as far as saying incorporating audiobooks into our life may be one of the best tools I’ve discovered this year for our family. It’s made that much of a difference!
Here is just one example: On a particular Saturday, we spent the morning at home, doing normal jobs like cleaning out the car and that sort of thing. It was raining outside. Come the afternoon, we felt desperate to get out of the house and decided to go for a drive to visit the Sciencentre at South Bank in Brisbane.
For the entire 25-minute trip to the city, there was silence from everyone (that’s four kids aged from 6-13) – except for the occasional giggle. Everyone was listening to David Tennant read beautifully (wonderfully!) from ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ by Cressida Cowell.
I can’t remember the last time ALL the kids were so engaged. Later when we were home again, the kids begged for more of the story and I found them huddled together in one of the bedrooms. That made me happy.
Everyone was happy and relaxed by the time we got to the museum.
Listening to audiobooks has quickly become part of our family routine. Each morning on the way to school, we listen to a little more of the book together (there’s a bookmark function so it’s easy to keep track of where we last were in the story). We are up to chapter 16 already! The biggest plus for me is this routine makes the trip to and from school more calm and fun. Win!
Below are some of the ways audiobooks fit into family life:
- Road trips – we do road trips as often as we can and audiobooks are a fabulous travel tool
- Enjoy a story on the way to a regular event – like school or sports practice
- Follow along with a picture book you have at home and enjoy it in a different way
- Holidays – pick a new book each family holiday and make a new tradition
- Quiet time and before bed
- Foster a love of books for kids who face challenges in this area (I have a child with dyslexia)
- Personal development and enjoyment – I like to run, and I have a few business related books on my wish list that I will listen to on my longer runs. Audiobooks make great use of that time.
Why Audiobooks Are Great
Nothing can replace snuggling with your child and reading together. Nothing can replace the enjoyment of feeling a book in your hand and seeing the words jump off the page – creating images in your head.
I don’t see audiobooks replacing regular reading, but simply another way to enjoy the wonder of books and storytelling. Audiobooks fit into our family life seamlessly, making it easy for us to enjoy storytelling on the go. Plus, they are a useful tool for multitasking and making the most out of our time.
Below are some of the titles in my wish list.
My Top 6 Picks for Family Reading
The free trial I accessed allows for a free one-book download and I’ve picked out 6 fabulous audio books family would enjoy as a beginning point:
1. The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
Narrated by Kate Winslet
2. How to Train a Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Narrated by David Tennant
3. The Magician’s Nephew (first book in the Narnia Series) by C.S. Lewis
Narrated by Kenneth Branagh
4. Winnie the Pooh by by A.A. Milne
Narrated by Stephen Fry, Jane Horrocks, Geoffrey Palmer, Judi Dench, Finty Williams, Robert Daws,
5. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomory
Narrated by Shelley Frasier
6. Swallows and Amazons by Authur Ransome
Narrated by Gareth Armstrong
Range and Quality
There’s a wide range of audiobooks available. I downloaded ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ as part of the free trial but also went ahead and purchased two other favorite picture books I found on Audible.com.au for the kids to enjoy.
Are We There Yet? By Alison Lester & Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
The quality of the three audiobooks I downloaded is excellent. Crisp, and clean sound. Especially with ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, the narration by Scottish actor David Tennant, is extremely entertaining.
Downloading Books & Using Audible.com.au
1. Join Audible.com.au for a free trial (after this, members pay a monthly $14.95 and get one book free a month)
2. Download the app for your preferred device (I used an iPhone)
3. Browse for your free book under ‘Shop Audible’ and checkout – you won’t be charged for the free book (this part has to be done through the website, not the app)
4. Access your book through the app on your device, download and listen!
Adding books is easy. Simply buy the books on the website, then refresh on the app and the books will be there! Boom!
Audiobooks have made a positive impact in our family, and with the free trial available, I recommend everyone to give it a go. Listen to something in the car on the way to school (this is what made the biggest difference in our family), make a new tradition or learn something new, even while you’re making dinner.
Visit Audible Australia audible.com.au
When would you most use Audiobooks?
You can rePin this list of books for later reference by clicking here.