You can listen to them with or without earphones, you can do other things at the same time such as washing up, gardening, walking the dog, knitting and undergoing chemo treatment. It’s also a great way to relax and drift off to sleep – remember how soothing a bedtime story was when you were a child! It also allows you to use your imagination - books, whether consumed in print or audio format, are generally described in much better detail, and the picture in your mind can be much more graphic, than a film.
Many people find it strange listening rather that reading, but it’s worth persevering. You will get used to it and wonder why you never did it before!
Tips on choosing a book
- Check out the book’s length – they can range from short 1hr reads to lengthy 50 hr sagas.
- Listen to a sample - there will usually be an audio excerpt. You want to ensure the narrator is someone you are happy to listen to.
- Read the reviews – consider whether you want a light read or a scholarly tome. What will you be doing whilst listening – if you’re having chemo choose something that will suit your mood and levels of concentration.
How to access an audiobook?
The best way to access audiobooks is from one of the many download websites such as iTunes or a subscription to an audiobook online service. They offer a wide range of titles and genres: fiction, crime & thrillers, sci-fi and fantasy, romance, action and adventure, history, factual, classics, radio plays, biographies and memoirs, travel, self-help, learning business, health and development – you can even learn a foreign language.
- Downloading audio books online is far more cost effective than buying an audio CD.
- Check out the deals, most will give you a trial period, or some free books to start.
- Take into account the contract terms – are you happy to sign-up for a year on a subscription basis, or would you rather download books on a pay as you go basis, although generally a lot more expensive!
- You can listen to an audio book via a smartphone, iPad, CD, laptop or TV – but make sure that whatever provider you use is compatible with your listening device.
- Some have extra features such as timer settings and bookmarks, so you are able to keep track if you fall asleep – so check these out then making your choice.
- And finally, they don’t all cost the same. For example, audible.com from Amazon is the most widely used subscription service, allowing you to download a certain number of books per month depending of the package you’ve chosen and once subscribed offer special daily and weekly offers. You can sign-up to a 30-day free trial – but if you don’t want to carry on, don’t forget to cancel or you’ll be signed-up for the year! With a library of 180,000 audiobooks to choose from, it offers the largest collection over any other company – but it is more expensive than some of the others.
There are a lot of different Apps out there so, do your research and choose the one that’s best for you. Some other subscription services include:
- www.downpour.com with 60,000 titles
- www.scribd.com with 150,000 titles
- www.audiobooks.co.uk with 100,000 titles
- www.kobo.com – this is a relatively new service compare to the others and they don’t say how many audio books they have available.
Here are a few recent recommendations, but please share your top listens in the Facebook Chemotherapy Support Group for other people to enjoy.
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
If you want a gripping and emotionally charged, this is the one for you.
Riley MacPherson is returning to her childhood home in North Carolina and discovers something that unravels her entire life. Riley has spent her whole life believing that her older sister, Lisa, died tragically as a teenager. But now she's starting to uncover the truth: her life has been built on a foundation of lies, told by everyone she loved.
As Riley tries to separate reality from fiction, her discoveries call into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Can she find the strength inside herself to decide her future?
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
If you’re after a swoony chick-lit romance than try this one for size. Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.
They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long-distance dating disaster of the century — or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...
Narrator Janina Edwards was described in a review by Audiofile as giving a cute yet cheeky performance, perfectly delivering the sassiness, boldness, and romance of this story – perfect if you need a pick-me-up.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
You’ve no doubt seen the film, but have you read the book? Here’s your chance.
If you don’t know the story, Holly Golightly is a World War II-era society girl in her late teens. Her life consists solely of socialising, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts.
Over the course of the story, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly changes her character, finally tossing away her frivolous nature as her deeper character emerges.
The narrator, Michael C. Hall delivers a mesmerizing performance, giving each character their own unique voice. “The listener is forced into my own whirlwind friendship with Holly,” comments Katie, Audible Editor. “I'd never before experienced a narrator who seemed to so completely understand an author's intentions – the effect was magical.”
The Outsider by Stephen King
If you like your novels dark and twisty, this compelling and chilling suspense will deliver what you want. Stephen King, the master of crime and horror has come up with a cracker.
When an 11-year-old boy is found murdered, forensic evidence and reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach. But the jailed suspect, arrested in a public spectacle, has an alibi, and further research convinces Detective Ralph Anderson that the coach was indeed out of town.
So how can he have been in two places at the same time?
Breakfast with Einstein - The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects, by Chad Orzel
Here’s an audiobook that caught our interest – who ever knew that without quantum physics, your breakfast - and so many other things we take for granted - wouldn't be possible. International best-selling author and physicist Chad Orzel explains why.
If you want to challenge your thinking and increase your understanding of the world try this book for size. Just beneath the surface of our ordinary lives, strange phenomena lurk. Exciting physics doesn’t only show up in the big bang or a black hole or in the guts of giant particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider - it’s all around us.
Chad Orzel embarks upon a fascinating tour of the exotic science that underlies each moment of our day. Did you know your alarm clock held secrets about quantum mechanics? And that the GPS on your phone has a built-in correction for the effects of relativity? We didn’t!
These are just some of the thousands of audio books available on a whole host of websites. Please share your best reads with the members of the Facebook Chemotherapy Support Group.