I resisted for quite a while.
I said that I preferred physical paper books over ebooks or audiobooks.
I reasoned that there was no way I could find time to read or listen to books while homeschooling five kids, many of whom are VERY loud and extremely needy. I reasoned that I simply didn’t have time to squeeze in reading or listening to books along with all the things I had to do.
And yet I felt this pull, this drive to consume more books.
I wanted to expand my mind. I wanted to learn and grow through books. I yearned to set an example for my kids of being a reader, in the process encouraging more reading for my kids.
So I knew I had to find a way to consume more books.
Many of my friends swore by this audiobook trend, friends who also worked and/or homeschooled and had multiple young children. I figured if they could do it, I could too, especially if I had fast 5G internet from Verizon.
With the determination to read or listen to 30 books in 2019, I began listening to audiobooks at various times, in various places, in various ways. And by November 2019, I hit and then surpassed my 2019 reading goal!
How to Listen to Audiobooks
There are several important tools I used to listen to audiobooks.
- Audiobook subscription/app
- Home assistant devices
- Car bluetooth or aux cables
- Bluetooth headphones
- Bluetooth speakers
- Habit formation techniques
- Verizon 5G Internet
There are a host of different apps, CDs, discs, tapes, and programs that offer audiobooks.
There are so many ways to listen to audiobooks, many of them for free even, like when you check out audiobooks on tape or CDs through your local public library, or through your library’s digital loaning apps like Overdrive and Hoopla and Libby.
If you get physical audiobooks – those on tape or CD – simply put the disc into your car’s CD or tape player, or into your computer disc drive, or into a portable CD or tape player (like that old school boombox you may still have).
But, as CD players are no longer standard on computers, laptops or tablets, and cars don’t have tape players, and most boomboxes have long since been replaced with modern digital stereos, let’s focus on how to listen to audiobooks digitally.
Verizon 5G for When You Are on the Go
5G wireless connectivity means quicker downloads and much lower lag than 4G. It’s expected to make businesses more efficient and give consumers, like us, more access to information faster than ever before. Connected cars, smart communities, and immersive education all are expected to rely on 5G.
When it comes to listening to audiobooks, you’ll want fast speeds when downloading them before a trip, through your various connected devices, or when using audiobooks as part of your business, or before heading on the go.
It was on-the-go that I first began to listen to audiobooks, namely while driving in my car to various errands with my kids.
You’d be surprised how many books you can listen to while driving 15 minutes there and 15 minutes back. It may not seem like much, but it adds up!
Best Ways to Listen to Audiobooks
If you are like most people, your iPhone or Android’s speakers aren’t that amazing, and you’d like to hear the audiobook while you do other things, or while your phone is in your pocket, and so on.
This is definitely true for moms who can’t just leave their phone on the counter as they clean as small little hands are likely to cart it away or scream over its sound.
That’s why you need to figure out the best ways to listen to audiobooks as a mom (or otherwise busy and distracted person).
How to Listen to Audiobooks on iPhone or Android Phone
There are a dozen or more audiobook apps available to be downloaded on iPhone and Android devices and streamed using Verizon 5G.
Some audiobook apps allow you to listen to audiobooks for free (like those library-linked apps I mentioned above, but also apps that host audiobooks available through the public domain).
But many audiobook apps are paid audiobook subscriptions or services, which require you to buy or rent the audiobook through the app.
Whatever audiobook app you put on your phone, it’s pretty easy to use it to listen to audiobooks from them.
Just open the app, search for the book title you want to listen to, purchase it, rent it, or request it, and then open the book once it’s available, and hit play! Once downloaded over 5G, your phone’s audio will be able to play the book for you. Hooray!
How to Listen to Audiobooks in the Car
If you get a book on tape, or book on CD, just put these into your car’s tape or CD players, and set your stereo to CD or tape, and press play. Done!
But, for digital audiobooks, there are a variety of ways to get your car to play them.
To get your car’s stereo system to play your phone’s audio can be a little tricky, depending on how old and tech-equipped your car is.
If your car has a tape deck, you can get a tape deck auxiliary adapter for less than $10. But, if your phone doesn’t have a headphone jack, you will also need a USB C to Headphone jack adapter or iPhone to Headphone jack adapter, for another $10 or so.
To use, you’ll push the tape into your car’s tape player, plug the aux cable into your phone (via adapter if needed), and then set your car’s stereo to tape player. Then play the audiobook on your phone, and you should be good to go!
If your car is Bluetooth equipped, you can connect your phone to your car’s audio via Bluetooth! Just tap the Bluetooth icon on your phone, set your car’s stereo to receive bluetooth, and you should be good to go once they connect. Just press play on the audiobook, and it should play through your car’s stereo system.
If your car doesn’t have bluetooth, or a tape player, but has an aux port, you can use an auxiliary cable to connect your phone to your car!
All you need is an aux cable and a phone adapter (if your phone doesn’t have a headphone port) or get an iPhone aux cord or USB C aux cable and skip the adapter piece altogether.
Plug one side into your car’s aux port, and the other into your phone, set your car’s stereo to AUX and it should play whatever your phone plays. This is what we currently do.
As soon as you get in the car, but before you leave, remember to start an audiobook, and you’ll be surprised how many books you can listen to in 15-20 minutes chunks here and there!
Be sure to check out my list of best audiobooks for family road trips for some great picks to listen to with the kids that you’ll also enjoy!
How to Listen to Audiobooks While Working Out and Exercising
Another great time to listen to audiobooks is while you are running, walking, hiking, lifting weights, or doing some other exercises.
Instead of listening to music via your phone as you workout, use your phone to stream your favorite audiobooks!
It’s a great way to get your mind thinking about something other than how much you hate running…. in case you are like me. ?
I like using wireless Bluetooth headphones so you don’t have cords hanging down or slapping you as you move and bend and squat. You also don’t need to have your phone on you, but can leave it on your workout bench, the floor, in the stroller organizer, in your purse, etc.
But, that’s ultimately up to you. But, plug-in your headphones, or connect them via Bluetooth, put the buds in your ears, and then hit play!
How to Listen to Audiobooks at Home
As I said earlier, it’s not always super easy to listen to your phone while at home and doing other things.
That is why we use home assistant devices to stream our audio onto. We have multiple devices throughout our home (but you might have Echos). To use these to play audiobooks, I mirror my device’s audio onto the speaker of my choice.
If you use Play Books, you can play those directly through your home smart devices too!
You can also use a Bluetooth speaker instead and just connect your phone to it via Bluetooth.
This is great because it means I can easily listen to audiobooks while I:
- Get dressed
- Do my hair and makeup
- Cook dinner
- Clean the house
- Wash dishes
- Do a puzzle
- Work on a project
- Get ready for bed
- Eat lunch or snacks with the kids
- Prepare meals
- Work on the computer
- Fold laundry
- Sweep and mop
The audio is loud enough on these home speakers that I can hear them over the sound of running water, dishes clanging, or kids playing.
I personally believe combining household chores with listening to audiobooks is the BEST way to read/consume more audiobooks!
This is part of habit formation. We reward ourselves with listening to a good book while doing something we perhaps don’t want to do, like go for a run, or scrub the floors. But, when we remember to press play on our favorite new audiobook, we don’t mind as much because now it’s more enjoyable.
Habit formation for the win! We have a cleaner house, healthier body, and sharper mind!
More Places to Listen to Audiobooks
As you pair listening to audiobooks with other activities, they’ll become more enjoyable.
You can listen to audiobooks as you:
- Garden outside
- Take bathroom breaks
- Fall asleep at night
- Browse your favorite apps on your phone
- Play a video game or computer game
- Play with your kids
- Put your kids down for naps (maybe with headphones)
- Sit in waiting rooms at doctor offices
- Watch your kids play at the park
- Watch/wait for your child’s sport or extracurricular activity to end
Get yourself some good headphones or earbuds, and you can listen to books anywhere! And unlike heavy books you need to remember to grab before heading out, you always have your phone with you! You don’t need to “find time” to read when you use audiobooks to read them to you! You just need to combine them with things you already do and BAM! You can read 20-30 or more books a year, depending on how diligent you are about putting them on as you do other things.
Don’t be like me and resist the amazingness that is audiobooks because you don’t think they’ll work for you!
If a little one does scream over part of the story, or you miss a part of the book as you step out to a different room, or fall asleep listening to it, it’s super easy to just jump back 30 seconds, or a chapter in the book and listen to it again.
If you feel the pull to read more books, turn that desire into actuation. You can totally do it with audiobooks!
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