I love audiobooks. It is a great disappointment that not all of my Christian novels are available in that format. But quite a few of them are available.
Audible.com has been go-to source for audiobooks since December of 2000 when I downloaded my first books. In 2005 I became an Audible member which means I get 12 unabridged books a year for about $15 each (paid annually in advance), plus I get discounts on other books as well. It used to be, if I bought an unabridged audiobook on CDs, it would cost me upwards of $50. Which meant I had to really, really, really feel a need to read that book.
Awhile back (I forget how long), Amazon acquired Audible, and this new partnership eventually brought audiobook lovers with Kindles a special new feature: Whispersync for Voice. I love, love, love it.
Here’s how it works for me:
I get in my car, plug my iPhone into the speaker system, and listen to an audiobook loaded into the Audible app while I run my errands. I get to an appointment where I have to sit awhile in a waiting area so I close the Audible app and I open the Kindle app on my iPhone. It syncs to the current place in the book and I read until I get called to my appointment. I get back in the car, listen again via Audible. I arrive at the chiropractor’s, unplug my iPhone from the car system, put in my earbuds, and I keep listening to the book while I’m in traction for my neck. Makes those 20 minutes pass much quicker! When I get home, I close the app on my iPhone. Later, when I open my Kindle, the book syncs to the furthest point listened to, and I can continue to read the book in the regular way on my Kindle.
If you own a Kindle Fire, you can even do what is called “immersion reading.” You can listen to the professional narration while following along on the Kindle version. There is a slight graying of the current line as the Kindle follows the Audible narration. A perfect way to shut out the world and go deep into the story. And it works well when walking on the treadmill.
For the above to work, two things must be true:
- The publisher must have chosen to activate the Whispersync feature. Not all of them do, even if they have the books in both ebook and audio formats. Audible says there are over 30,000 titles available that way. And you can pick up some classics free for the Kindle with Audible versions available for 99 cents.
- The reader must purchase both the professional audio version and the Kindle version (normally there is a discount on one version if you buy both).
My pleasure reading time is severely limited, but I can get through books so fast with Whispersync because I’m reading even when I can’t actually read. Especially those gigantic books that are 800 or 900 pages! In the past, I usually just skipped those really fat books.
If Whispersync isn’t available, even though both Kindle and audio are offered, then I have to decide, would I rather read a certain book or listen to it? It can be a tough decision.
If you own a Kindle or the Kindle app plus if you love audiobooks, then I suggest you give Whispersync and Audible.com a try.