Why You Should Start Listening to Audiobooks

For over a year now I’ve been listening to audiobooks. Honestly, I didn’t start sooner because I thought negatively about the idea. I had baseless beliefs that audiobooks were only used by people who were too lazy to actually read a book. What a silly thought. It’s bizarre to think I refused to learn in this way just because I thought it was lazy. Come on? A lazy way to learn? Even if it was a lazy way to learn, wouldn’t it still be learning? That’s like saying you refuse to pay off debt because you think your cushy desk job isn’t a worthy enough way of paying back the money. Ridiculous.

Once I was able to free my mind of those prior beliefs, I cracked open er.. hit play on my first audiobook. The book was The Millionaire Next Door. You’ve probably heard of it. It’s arguably the most popular personal finance book to date even though it came out in the mid-90’s.

I would listen to the book while working out, biking, cooking, washing dishes, driving, or just tidying up my room. This ‘lazy’ way of learning was making learning possible during other times of the day when my mind would be virtually blank. Instead of daydreaming, I was now learning about how to earn, save, and invest my income. These audiobooks are for real.

There’s something about listening to a book while you’re also doing some other light activity. For me, it feels like my mind is more awake so I’m able to absorb more information. The books also seem more applicable to my life if I can relate them with what I’m currently doing. When I work out, I like to read self-improvement books. As my muscles ache, saving money doesn’t seem too hard in comparison!

Stimulating your mind while stimulating your body makes perfect sense. I was once interviewing for a job when my interviewer said everyone may soon be getting standing desks. Apparently people’s brains function better when their bodies are busy. I did a little research and found out it’s true. It’s kind of why we have our best ideas in the shower.

Audiobooks may be especially useful for you if you’re already an audio learner. Here’s how you can find out:

  • Do you remember past conversations?
  • Are you good at storytelling?
  • Do you talk to yourself when accomplishing tasks?

Even if none of these sound like you, you may still really enjoy audiobooks. I find audiobooks to be of great use and I’m not great at storytelling nor do I never talk to myself when doing work. I’m not really an auditory learner. But even with that being said, listening to books is still really helpful. You must keep in mind that I’m listening to these books during times I would normally just be daydreaming. Even if I were only to retain 1/5 of the information, it would be 1/5 more knowledge than I had before I started washing dishes.

Here are some of the personal finance/business/self-improvement books I’ve listened to over this past year:

The Millionaire Next Door
The 4-Hour Work Week
How to Win Friends and Influence People
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
Think and Grow Rich
The Secret
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Outliers: The Story of Success
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
The Alchemist
If I had to sit down and turn pages, I doubt I would have read even one of these books. I don’t like sitting still.
Now I bring this discussion back to you, the reader. Do you have silly predispositions about listening to books? Why? Do they have any merit? What can you learn while listening? What books do you want to read but haven’t had the time to read? Can you find them in audiobook format? If so, I say go for it. Open yourself up to learning. What audiobook will you start with?
 –Will

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