Rebirth of Literacy: My Journey with Audiobooks

   I can proudly and shamelessly say this: I have never read a book. It’s not that I am dyslexic or I don’t find knowledge appealing, but focusing on words through pages upon pages is a big challenge for me. The invention of Facebook and Instagram totally wrecked my ability to focus on words in a book that exceeds ten words per sentence if not complemented with beautiful pictures with enchanting filters. However, I am, as a matter of fact, an aficionado when it comes to learning and exploring the world. I constantly browse New York Times’ best sellers and made purchases based on what I read on Amazon. It’s not that I am trying to read whatever the world is reading; my interest in reading is genuine. But I just can’t get through the first chapter without distraction. My computer folder has a myriad of favorited Wiki pages that I promised myself to get to someday and those are some of the emptiest promises. Yeah, this is how bad my illiteracy is. I can’t event commit to reading a page.

   Until one day, one oh-so-magical day, I had a reading style aha moment. I gave the free trial offered by Audible.com a shot by purchasing my first ever audiobook (What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey). So here began my great audiobook journey, as it is the paradigm of life: every great journey begins with Oprah.

   Audiobooks have the magic of making readers feel as if they are having a direct conversation with the author. It is crazy how I would constantly hit the pause button and voice out my opinion about certain passages to absolutely no one in the middle of the street. Audiobooks serve as an excellent alternative for audio listeners. For anyone out there who have issues with reading or focusing on words, this can be your renaissance of reading / listening. I have tried out my audiobooks at so many places and in various activities. I listen to it on treadmill and while biking, during boring meeting or even when I am in a hot tub relaxing. My new favorite activity is to have my Audible app play when I am about to fall asleep; I listen to stories ranging from those of Austen Burroughs to Loni Love’s humor books. It takes bedtime stories to a complete new level. I mean, it does a hell of a better job than my mom did.

   Within three months of listening to the audiobooks, several things changed: the amount of good and wholesome information that I receive surges. I shake off my Huffington Post nonchalant reader habit and jump into the embrace of the well-rounded knowledge that only a book can provide. Plus, I find myself saying fancy words more often due to the constant audio environment saturated with written words but that probably just makes me come off as even more obnoxious.

   Most important, my biggest takeaway is the attitude towards obstacles. Growing up, I resented reading. I used Wikipedia to copy answers all throughout my book reports. Now I can’t get enough of listening to books: my audible app calls me a “binge listener.” There is always a way and, thanks to the invention of the audiobook, I have finally revived my literary life.

By: Jamin Lin