How to Listen to Audio Books? [Step by Step]

Gone are the days when people would read books in hard copy. In the present day, people either read books in a digital form or listen to Audio Books.

So, does the idea of relaxing while listening to an audiobook fascinate you? But are you not sure about where to start and how to listen to audiobooks?

If yes, this article is for you as we will bring you a beginner’s guide on listening to audiobooks here.

Part 1: Choosing the Right Audiobook

Identifying Your Interests

The first audiobook you read must be the book you feel a connection to. So, here are some tips for choosing the right book.

1. Fiction vs. Non-fiction

If you are a fiction reader or want to go into a dream world with fantasy, romance, and more, choose a fiction audiobook. However, if your fiction makes you go out of focus or you prefer reality-based books, a non-fiction audiobook will keep you hooked. 

2. Genre Preferences

While most people are interested in mystery, thriller, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and memoirs, your genre preference can be different. So, go for the genre of your choice if you are someone who likes biography, poetry, novels, or similar genres.

Considering Narrator Choices

For an audiobook, you are going to hear someone else’s voice. So, the narrator choice is also important.

1. Author-narrated vs. Professional Narrators

While authors have lived the book and are thought to do justice to the story, not all authors are good narrators. So, except for a few authors like Ocean Vuong and   Gaiman, professionally narrated books are more audible. 

2. Listening to Samples

Before you get committed to listening to audiobooks with long hours of listening time, listen to the sample of that book. Also, try a short audiobook lasting for 2 to 4 hours as your first one.

Utilizing Reviews and Recommendations

If you have no preference in genre or narrators, a wise decision would be to utilize reviews and recommendations.

1. Online Reviews

You can find the best audiobooks for beginners and check the online reviews of those books. Additionally, if you have seen the reels of any audiobooks, see their reviews and select the one with high ratings.

2. Recommendations from Friends and Book Clubs

For a beginner, joining a book club can motivate you to listen to audiobooks and it can help you find some interesting ones as well. Moreover, you can also ask for recommendations from your friends.

Part 2. Selecting a Platform or App

Comparison of Popular Audiobook Platforms

The top 5 platforms with audiobooks are given as, 

1. Audible

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Audible by Amazon is regarded as the no.1 platform to listen to audiobooks. It has a large pool of audiobooks including old books to the latest ones. Also, you can try 2 audiobooks for free or a 30-day free trial before subscribing to its plans. Its monthly plan costs $8.

2. Scribd

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From audiobooks to podcasts, Scribd offers it all. While it offers a 30-day free trial with a large gallery of audiobooks, comic books, ebooks, magazines, and much more, you have to buy a $12 monthly subscription plan afterward.

3. Libby/OverDrive

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Being available in almost 80 countries, Libby provides free access to many audiobooks. All you need for Libby is your local library card. However, you might need to wait for the book you want to listen to if anyone else is doing so.

4. Google Play Books

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Google Play Books is an application to listen to audiobooks by Google. Although you can get this app for free and work online and offline, you need to purchase books of your choice.

5. Spotify and Other Music Streaming Services for Audiobooks

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You would be thrilled to know that your music streaming services like Spotify also allow access to audiobooks. You do not have to buy its subscription separately for audiobooks. However, not all audiobooks on Spotify are free.

Subscription vs. One-Time Purchase Models

You can choose monthly subscription vs. one-time purchase models depending upon the platform you are subscribing to and how many audiobooks you hear in a month. If you only listen to one book in a month, a monthly subscription is better. 

Library Access and Free Resources

1. Public Library Systems

Apps associated with public library systems like Libby, SimplyE, and Axis360 provide free access to many books. 

2. Project Gutenberg for Audiobooks

Project Gutenberg holds a large library of free ebooks. You can try its audiobook version to listen to some of your desired audiobooks for free.

3. Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a free website with many audiobooks. Additionally, it has eBooks and poetry collections as well.

Part 3: Setting Up Your Listening Environment

Choosing the Right Device

In the modern day, you can play audiobooks anywhere and at any time as long as you have a device and internet connection.

1. Smartphones and Tablets

As we always have our smartphones with us and occasionally tablets as well, these are the first options to consider when choosing the device. Also, they can be controlled by smart assistants like Alexa.

2. Computers

For people who work on desktops, computer-friendly audiobook listening platforms can be used. Also, they are a great way to take breaks in between your work.

3. Dedicated Audiobook Players

The battery of smartphones and tablets and the inconvenience of having a PC by your side make dedicated Audiobook players the best device for enthusiastic audiobook listeners. 

Creating a Comfortable Listening Space

The next thing is to set your device.

1. Headphones vs. Speakers

All of the devices mentioned above have built-in speakers that you can use to listen to audiobooks loudly. On the other hand, headphones are more comfortable when you are in a public place.

Also, check Wireless Lavalier Microphones & Systems to get headphones for listening to audiobooks.

2. Adjusting Volume and Speed

Adjust the volume to a level that is clearly audible for you without disturbing others in the room. In addition, listen to audiobooks at 1x speed at first and increase the speed gradually as your concentration improves and you become used to it. 

3. Ambient Environment Considerations

For a beginner, it is best to listen to audiobooks when you are alone and have plenty of time as it prevents distraction. 

Part 4: Integrating Audiobooks into Your Daily Routine

Multitasking Opportunities

Once you become familiar with the story and have better concentration, you can listen to audiobooks while multitasking. 

1. During Commutes

If your workplace or school is at a distance of a few kilometers, grab your headphones and listen to audiobooks on the way. During the commute, you can focus solely on the book and time will pass quickly as well.

2. While Exercising

If you are a workout freak, combine your workout routine with audiobooks. For this, you can use headphones while you go jogging in the morning or play them on speaker if you have a home gym.

3. Alongside Household Chores

Gardening, cooking, cleaning your room, and organizing your stuff are some other chores that allow you to listen to audiobooks.

Dedicated Listening Times

If there is some story that gets you invested enough to stop doing other chores or you cannot concentrate well on the audiobook 

1. Relaxation and Wind-Down Routines

If you take small breaks in your day, use that time to listen to audiobooks and relax yourself. Similarly, you can listen to audiobooks at night if you have a hard time sleeping. 

2. Focused Listening Sessions

It is difficult to focus on your audiobook when the story is just starting or you are listening to a new narrator. In such cases, it is better to schedule your day in a way that you take some time out to listen to your audiobook.

Part 5: Enhancing Your Listening Experience

Here are some tips to improve your audiobook listening experience. 

Taking Notes and Bookmarking

You can take notes when you listen to an audiobook and bookmark quotes and plot twists to understand the book in a better way.

Participating in Discussions and Online Communities

After you have done listening to an audiobook, you feel a sense of separation. In this case, participate in discussions about the book and go through online communities to stay connected.

Also, if there is any point in the book you cannot understand, online communities help you with that.

Following Along with the Physical Book

The charm of holding a book and turning pages is often missed as you listen to an audiobook. Therefore, do both together if you have plenty of time. 

It improves your reading and listening skills as well.

Adjusting Playback Speed for Comprehension and Time

While audiobooks fill the gap physical books can never, you might want to adjust time and speed while listening to focus on the details of the story without spending more time than needed. 

Listening to a book at 2x will help you listen to more audiobooks in a given time while listening to books at 1x allows a better understanding of the book. So, adjust the time that works for you.

Part 6: Troubleshooting Common Audiobook Issues

Technical Difficulties with Apps or Devices

At times, the app you are using might not be compatible with your device or it might glitch because of a technical error. To solve this, you can follow YouTube tutorials or read Quora/Reddit experiences of other people. 

Finding Time to Listen

The most difficult thing in this busy world is to find time to listen to the audiobook. You can incorporate your reading sessions with chores that do not require mental attention. These include traveling, folding laundry, cooking a meal, and more.

Retaining Information from Audiobooks

Taking notes and bookmarking essential points of the audiobook helps in retaining information. Additionally, you can read a physical book along with listening to the audiobook version.


1. Can I Switch between Reading and Listening to an Audiobook?

Yes, you can read and listen to an audiobook at the same time or switch between the two. Many audiobook listening apps provide an option to read the book as well.

2. How Can I Find the Best Audiobook Deals And Discounts?

Amazon, Audible, and other audiobook listening platforms provide deals and discounts throughout the year. You just have to keep an eye on them to grab it. 

Also, you may find some coupon codes in online audiobook communities.

3. What Should I Do if I’m Struggling to Focus While Listening to an Audiobook?

Start reading a physical book along with listening, slow down the speed of the narrator, choose a narrator with a better voice, and schedule a focus reading session if you are struggling while listening to an audiobook.

4. Are There Any Good Audiobooks for Improving Concentration or Sleep?

Yes, there are many. For example, books narrated by Stephen King, Middlemarch, Anne of Green Gables, and more.


John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

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