The Cure for Slow Readers

I’ve always been a slow reader and I’m always astounded by those fast, fast readers, who manage to finish 150+ books a year. I typically finish 70 books a year, but you know with that ever-growing TBR. When will I ever be able to read all the books?

Recently, I discovered the cure for slow readers: audiobooks. I’ve dabbled with audiobooks a few times in high school (wow, I can say that now!), but I’ve never been consistent about listening to them. However, last month in May, I really got into them; like, this is no phase. I have a feeling I’m going to be listening to audiobooks for the rest of my reading career because I’ve been finishing twice the amount of books in a regular month.

So, how does one audiobook? The first thing I’m going to tell you is: don’t sign up for Audible. I considered it when I wanted to go try audiobooks for the first time, but thanks to my mother, she recommended I go try the library first. Every reader should know that the library is your best friend. I listened to Audio CDs, but those things are huge and not convenient to take to places other than listening at home.

And then.

And then I discovered my library had an online library – both for ebooks and audiobooks. If you have a smartphone, you can download the free app Overdrive  and find & sign in to your library and TA DAA. You have audiobooks and ebooks at your service, for FREE.

I’m lucky to have a library that is stocked with audiobooks, all with the recent and even upcoming releases. However, not all libraries will be stocked; some will be a little barren. That’s when you consider signing up for Audible. I couldn’t be happier about simply using my online library for audiobooks instead of Audible because I’m listening to books completely for free.

The cool thing about the Overdrive app versus listening to Audio CDs is that you can speed up the audiobook narrator’s voice; I take advantage of that. I listen to the book at 2x the normal speed because the normal speed is… so… slow… and… I… start… dozing… off. So, at 2x, it’s still understandable and even better, you can get through the book faster while not being bored to death. By having the audiobook go 2x, you are engaged and listening to the story because the narrator is speaking faster.

People have asked: Where and when does one listen to audiobooks? Honestly, whenever I get the chance. Since it’s summer and I don’t have anywhere I need to be at 8am every morning (yay for no school!), I like to just wake up, lay in bed, and just listen to my audiobook for 30 minutes to an hour. It allows me to wake up in a soothing way without having to sit up and move my (still) tired eyeballs. I also listen when I’m eating alone, doing chores, browsing the internet/reading blogs (with little text), getting ready in the morning, commuting, or exercising (it motivates you to keep exercising, especially if it’s a good book!). And then finishing off the day once you’ve brushed your teeth, showered, and changed into your PJs and just laying in bed listening to someone read a story to you is pretty nice. Basically, I listen to audiobooks whenever I’m not reading a print book.

Speaking of print books, I now read two books at a time: one audiobook, one print book. I can’t ditch print books because I have reviews books I need to read, but dual reading forces me to finish more books each month. It’s a nice break too, if you need to rest your eyes after reading that print book for 2 hours, you can keep reading by plugging in your headphones to listen to a different story.

So that’s my secret! I’m no longer a “slow reader”. I’ve been finishing more than one book a day, and let me tell you, I FEEL VICTORIOUS. So slow readers, give  audiobooks a try; go tackle that TBR pile.


19 thoughts on “The Cure for Slow Readers”

  1. Those audiobooks are lifesavers for me too! I mean, I read a lot, maybe about 250-300 books a year, but audio still increases that number. I find that it’s infinitely easier to do chores, to commute to work and back or generally do things I used to do in utter silence. Since I have plenty of chores every day, I end up listening to a lot of audiobooks.


  2. How I wish audiobooks would work for me. I have few occasions where I can think of (like when I’m working out at the gym), but I simply can’t focus. I seem to zone out and then I get lost in the story. I even tried Harry Potter and that didn’t work, so that says enough, haha.


    1. Harry Potter didn’t work for you?! That definitely is saying something! I loved the HP audiobooks personally, but I hope you get better luck in the future! ❤


  3. Reblogged this on The Cosmic Reader and commented:
    I shall try this! I won a few audiobooks in a giveaway and I’m moving soon. I have a 4hr. plane ride + a 2hr. layover + I won’t have Internet or TV this summer until who knows when. Perfect timing to start something new like this! 😏👍


  4. OH YES. This is the post I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!

    I’ve been lucky in that I’ve pretty much always been a fast reader (my second grade teacher was always really astounded by my reading speed, haha). Even then, you have been reading SO. MANY books, more than I have ever before in a single month! So I’m glad you’re finally sharing your secret now. 😀

    YES to Overdrive. Honestly idk why people would pay so much money for audible without even checking out Overdrive. My library is pretty good with Overdrive, so I have a decent selection of books, especially older ones. I have to say though, I haven’t used the 2x speed feature yet, but it seems like such a great idea, duh. Will totally be using that feature when I listen to another audiobook!

    Man, I love how you find time to fit audiobooks into your schedule. I used to listen while I was on the bus, which was really great. I have a long plane ride and we’ll be commuting alot during my vacation, so I will DEFINITELY be grabbing some audiobooks for the road. I also totally wake up and go on Twitter before I even leave my bed- such a bad habit- so instead maybe I’ll try listening to some audiobooks. 🙂

    So excited about audiobooks now AHH. Any good recs, girl?!


    1. YEP THIS POST IS FOR YOU, GIRL. You’re lucky you’re a speedy reader, but these audiobooks will surely slice off those books off your TBR. The 2x feature is AWESOME. Let me know how it works for you! I definitely listen to audiobooks AND go on Twitter before I get up every morning, too hehehe 🙂 I’m going to be posting a ton of audiobook reviews soon, so look out for those as my recs! 😉


  5. i just found your blog! It is beautiful and amazing. I just discovered audiobooks too! It’s so easy to blitz through books I don’t want to read my self. I also wrote a post about audiobooks that will be up Wednesday, if you are interested.


  6. HI JEN!!! Long time no speak! Super long time! Hope you’ve been doing well – I assume you’ve graduated from high school now? 😀

    I remember you telling me about audiobooks before and I can’t believe I’m still yet to give them a go. I am a REALLY slow reader and I am all sorts of envious of bloggers who can zoom through books… I can only dream. But audiobooks do seem like the perfect solution. It would be super convenient for fitting around life, like you mentioned. It takes 40 minutes for me to get to my uni campus by bus so it would be great for my commute. Also since I have to cook for myself and I always take ages to cook, an audiobook would be perfect then too. I guess my only reservation would be that I won’t feel like I’m a ‘reading’ a book but I’m sure that would become less of an issue once I get into it.

    I just had a look at Overdrive and sadly, I don’t think it’s available at the libraries that are near where I stay at home or at uni 😦 Hopefully I can find an alternative soon! Otherwise I’ll just have a browse of the audio CDs at the library.

    Thanks for a great post, Jen! Speak to you soon 🙂


    1. BEVERLEY ❤ I'm so happy you stopped by, and yep, I remember recommending audiobooks to you too! Old times, ahaha. I actually don't cook yet but I can see that being a perfect time to listen to audiobooks! I hope you find an alternative to Overdrive as well! Thanks for stopping by, Bev. ❤


  7. Thanks for sharing us a new method of listening to audiobooks besides Audible! I’m still hesitant to trying out audiobooks because I feel like I’ll just zone out and fall asleep lol. I think I need to hold a book physically and use my eyes to read in order for the story to sync in my brain xD. Maybe I’ll try this one day though or introduce this to my lazy 9 and 10 year old brothers 😛


  8. I love my library’s Overdrive option. I live in a small town, and the option for digital material opened up so many more books. I have had some struggle with audiobooks unless I am captive in a car, or laying in bed. I have a hard time absorbing the story. It is for this reason that I don’t take advantage of audiobooks very often, but they are perfect for road trips.
    I am a slow reader myself and I have accepted that my TBR will never be tackled. I add books faster than even the faster of readers could keep up with.
    I am going to try your tip to download the app on my phone. Up until now, I have only downloaded the audiobooks to my Kindle. Maybe I will be able to enjoy books on audio if it is more portable.


    1. I’m so glad that you’ve found Overdrive to widen your options since you live in a small town! I can see why audiobooks are a little hard to focus on if you’re multi-tasking. Yes, definitely add Overdrive to your phone, it’s MUCH more portable than a Kindle. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Suzi!


  9. I’ve got a terrible library, so I wish I could access Overdrive! The Philippines doesn’t even have great libraries, and the only library I’ve ever been to is my school library. I thankfully read decently enough, although I still wish I could listen to a bit more audiobooks. The only ones I’ve ever listened to are the ones from YA Sync.


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