With the days drawing in, and the nights getting colder, I’m more likely to spend nights snuggled into my sofa with some hot cocoa and a good book.
Reading is something I’ve always loved to do, but I used to struggle with finding the time, or choosing the right book.
I hate the idea of speed reading because I think that books are meant to be savoured and enjoyed. When I read I like to relax, take my time, and not worry about efficiency. I read slowly. Well, to be honest . . . I do just about everything slowly!
Recently, however, with the help of Audible, Kindle, and Whispersync, I’ve been able to find a lot more time to dedicate to reading books that I love.
I couldn’t find time to read, but I was spending hours each week driving to gigs, folding laundry, walking to the grocery store. Thanks to Audible, I’ve filled all of these hours with professionally narrated audiobooks, and I just can’t get enough! You can purchase a subscription like me, or just buy audiobooks individually. I’ve always loved being read to, but it’s a lot harder as an adult to convince someone to read you a bedtime story! If you’re not convinced, sign up for a FREE 30 day trial to see if it’s for you.
I wasn’t sure if I’d really like using a Kindle (as a literature student I was taught to appreciate the smell of paper books, and to be suspicious of new-fangled e-readers). But when I received my first kindle two years ago for Christmas, I was immediately converted. I travel a lot, and I live in a very small apartment. My Kindle is easy to read, convenient, light, thin, and contains my whole library. It might not be as romantic as my old bookcase full of dog-earred, underlined, tattered editions, but since acquiring it I have spent so much more time reading instead of just looking at a pretty library. When I use my Kindle, I read more, and for me, that’s the bottom line. I have the basic model (£59), which I think is absolutely great; but there are several other versions including the waterproof Oasis (£229.99), the Paperwhite (£109.99), and the Voyage, which all offer special features. You could even snatch up a great deal by picking up an Amazon “Renewed” (refurbished) Kindle.
Now here’s the real star of the show! In my opinion, this is one of the best technologies ever invented. Whispersync is a feature which allows seamless transitioning between different devices using the Kindle App and Audible.
Basically, I purchase an audiobook from Audible, and I also purchase the “add-on” ebook companion for my Kindle (usually costing anywhere from £1-£6). The devices sync in real-time, so I can switch back and forth throughout my day.
I listen to an audiobook on my phone while I’m getting ready in the morning, then listen in my car when I’m driving, continue reading on my Kindle while I’m having a coffee – without ever losing my place. You can also use read on your smart phone or tablet, but I find that the screen hurts my eyes before long, so I stick with my Kindle.
The technology is great, and I think about 9 times out of 10, when I turn on a device, it has already synced to my “furthest read” page/location. Every now and then I have to hit the refresh button a few times, but generally, it works very well.
TIP 1: How to save £$€ on audio and ebooks
So here’s the trick: Buy the Kindle version first, then add “audible narration” at the checkout, or afterwards as an “upgrade”. Buying the Audible audiobook sperately costs waaaay more. Weirdly, buying Audible companions outside of a membership can work out to be cheaper! I usually end up spending about £7 per book (audio+ebook), just as a guide.
Or, you can just buy the Kindle edition, then, while still logged in, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/audible/matchmaker to see a list of your Whispersync-ready companion audibooks. Click “upgrade”.
Still, the Audible trial is completely free and worth doing, as you’ll get a free book and access to their awesome daily sales.
TIP 2: Daily Deals
Each day, Kindle and Audible a daily deal. The book changes daily, so keep an eye out! I’ve picked up some great books this way (just got Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges are Not the Only Fruit).
You can still use one technology without the others, but I really think I’ve found my groove with Whispersync, and I’m reading like a mad woman! In fact, I’m nearly through last year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist!
Give it a go, and let me know what you think. Do you like new reading technology, or are you sticking with paper books?
Audible Audiobooks use this link to sign up for a free 30 day trial, or to purchase a subscription or individual book.
Kindle view current models to find a version that suits you and your budget. In addition to millions of low-cost books, there are over one million free books in the public domain (mainly classics).