I love books. I love everything about books. One of my favorite things growing up was the sound of a library book when you brought it home and opened it. There was nothing else like that crinkling of the book as a new story began. But for as much as I loved reading, I never once as a young adult thought much about audiobooks. I liked to read books, not listen to someone else reading me the books. I liked the solitary activity of it all. Maybe it was residual flashbacks to listening to Shakespeare on tape in high school that caused this skepticism of audiobooks; I’m not sure. But I did start to think of audiobooks as my literary final frontier.
Then one day, a library school professor required me to listen to a young adult audiobook for class. I thought I could outsmart the system by choosing the shortest one I could find, because, yes, even in graduate school you still try to create shortcuts when someone makes you do something you don’t want to do. Joke was on me though because I ended up loving the assignment. It was such a busy time in my life that it was amazing how much fun I was having reading while doing something else at the same time. For the extreme multitasker that I am, this was quite the discovery.
So with that said, if you love young adult novels and multitasking as much as I do, then I’m going to implore you to try out this final frontier of mine with me. It turns out going on these book adventures with friends is fun. And it is always an adventure because I can’t seem to listen to an audiobook while sitting on my couch or at the beach like with a normal book. I need to be doing something with my audiobook, like driving or running. Maybe I’m trying to keep my audiobook friends from being bored. Who knows? But while my other books are at home on the couch, my audiobooks go out on the town with me.
So for you audiobook neophytes like me out there, here are some of my favorites that I’ve discovered in the past year and where on the town they have joined me.
Audiobook: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Who better to get you through data entry then John Green and David Levithan? This one did reqiure a measure of self-control, though, because otherwise my work neighbors might have noticed me laughing out loud to this hilarious tale of two high school students with the same name. This audiobook could give any monotonous activity some flare.
Audiobook: Matched by Ally Condie
Location: My neighborhood and gym while training for a 10-mile race
This is the first in Condie’s series about a girl named Cassia in a dystopian future where everyone in society is matched with their future life partner. The reader to me just sounds like a high school girl struggling with her burning desire to rebel against society and the confusion of which guy is the right guy. The story also started to build right as my daily runs were getting longer. It definitely helped me push through to the end every day.
Audiobook: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Location: The car
I mean, seriously, who better to enjoy a girls-only road trip with than Sarah Dessen?! Enough said.
These are just the first few titles that made me fall in love with audiobooks and made many activities more fun by carrying me into their stories with them. How about you, readers? What audiobooks first caught your attention? Do you have a favorite time when you like to listen to them, too?
— Katie Shanahan, currently reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare