There are thousands of audiobooks online catering to every age and genre so how do you choose a great audiobook that would make for time (& money) well spent? Since it is easier (and definitely more interesting) to listen to sound than scroll over written text, there are many more options available for non-native speakers of English to access great content on the world wide web now.
Sounds like fun!!
The tricky thing about audio content is that unless you plug in those ear-plugs and really listen, you are not going to know much about what is inside. The first few seconds of a recording must necessarily grasp your attention, then only you are likely to continue till the end. Ideally, it would be wise to pause and give a moment’s thought as to what you would want to accomplish with an audiobook before plunging into a search for content.
What we REALLY seek in our lives is simple. It is a fallout of the Industrial Age that those same things seem difficult to achieve, but not anymore.
We now know that the human brain accesses and processes information in very particular manners that is individual to us and they come in visual, linguistic, logical, inter-personal, auditory, kinesthetic, natural and intra-personal forms of intelligence.
So if you want to run while you want to listen to an audiobook, that is probably your style that is native to You!! Others perhaps prefer to mix it up with music or prefer to sit in a park bench, while some others, like me, choose to sit in the corner of a room and shut the world out in order to concentrate on anything. It all depends on the way your brain is wired.
Storytime – audioBooks
Many of the classics that I read while growing up are now available through the spoken medium. The Internet archive project has plenty of titles of great stories narrated by volunteers who have donated their voice. There are more than 1000 titles all vying for your attention providing a rich fare to any discerning reader. The voices that rendered these stories are from another time than the stories themselves – which makes for an interesting sensory experience. Listeners will be able to relate and correlate ideas that may seem out of context but adds to one’s comprehension of the topic, nevertheless. E.g. Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days may seem odd now that we are able to travel across continents in a few hours, but here is a story captured from the time of post-Victorian England, when the idea seemed novel indeed.
It is also amazing to note that you may prefer the voice of a particular narrator over others for a particular story. In the case of Alice in Wonderland, I distinctly prefer the voice of Kara Shallenberg over the others. I don’t know why.
Non-fiction: Plenty of Ideas!
If you want to know about the science of getting rich, here is a personal recommendation: The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace D. Wattles. There are more than 12,000 titles – enough for a lifetime of listening pleasure, all categorized by author and year of archiving the material. One can research the content for all kinds of material on any topic under the sun.
Another wonderful source of non-fiction audiobooks is audiobooks.com that contains some precious gems including Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning and Teal Swan’s Anatomy of Loneliness. There are some interesting titles to choose in Audio for Books that would generously contribute to your growing wisdom.
No matter what we choose, our basic need for information must serve our basic need for health, wealth, love and inspiration. These are the fundamentals without which we cannot lead a productive and happy life. Once we have zeroed in the specific area where we may be lacking, we can surely find something that meets our need.
AudioBooks for non-native speakers.
There are more and more interesting variations of technology that caters to the market for exclusive content being delivered to every niche in the world today. Most of the written content on the internet would probably be English but as more and more people come online, language is no longer a barrier and more content will become available in languages other than English. This is a good augury for better ideas and practices reaching more human beings in the world that would have a cumulative effect in society.
Here is a collection of links:
- Audiobooks in Spanish
- Audiobooks in Russian
- Audiobooks in French
- Audiobooks in Italian
- Audiobooks in Japanese
- Audiobooks in Hindi
Make it a Habit!
The consumption of content naturally feeds our psycho-social awareness and inspires a manner of thinking that leads to a way of being. Isn’t it ironic that there are endless topics that discuss and illustrate our differences but so few provide the common human perspective? Like the voices in our heads that silently motivate our thoughts and feelings, it is time to give these voices more meaning by creating a collection of sounds that regularly inspire us to live the best version of ourselves.
While there are many websites and apps that serve this demand, we at WordWize.in are going a step further by incorporating the logic of the Shift – a worldwide movement to transcend our human limitations to create a civilization of abundance, peace and love. This movement has been triggered by many events in the world, including 9-11 that has catapulted us into a global village but at the same time, increased certain tendencies that may seem counter-productive.
We are going to do this by reviewing and making discerning choices to critique and promote only those content that have social value according to the nature of the outcome that we seek. There is a method in the madness and we will discuss this in another post.
Thank you for reading this and we heartily welcome your comments and suggestions to inform and inspire us.
Have a Happy day & keep smiling!!
We learn to listen long before we learn how to speak or read and write. There are many people who would actually prefer to listen to a book rather than read it, but our sensory mechanisms are trained to follow the standard rule where reading and writing takes precedence over listening, imagining and visualizing a scene or an intended outcome.
My first experience of an audiobook was delivered over a small Lyra .mp3 player that I carried along in the parks of Toronto in Canada while Marrianne Williamson made some interesting points between my ears. Then Deepak Chopra came along with his Seven Spirtual Laws of Success. It is easy to be transported across space and time when the auditory lobes of your brain are activated.!!
Listen to your favorite author!
There is an interesting trend among authors who are reading out their own books making it a much more personal experience for the reader, er.. listener. It is much more immersive and the content is much more relatable when we listen rather than read a page, electronic or otherwise.
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – Deepak Chopra
- The Monk who sold his Ferrari – Robin Sharma
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
Sound makes more “sense”
Sound contains emotion that is easily lost in written words. There is no way to tell if these words are written with a smile on my face or a frown. There is a lot more to a spoken word than a written one. Somehow, there is more information packed into a page delivered through the ear-buds than printed on paper or an electronic screen.
When it comes to fiction, there is no doubt that a story narrated with additional inputs in the form of background settings and soundtracks to capture the emotions of the characters goes a long way to provide the listener with a superior experience.
The way the human brain is wired suggests that our visual cortex takes up a more than a fair share of neural activity, hence the saying.. “Looks can be deceptive.” Listening to music or narrated content heightens the attention span and could very well increase our capacity for active listening – a skill that is a must for personal and professional success.
Research has shown that a few minutes of listening to the voice of a loved one can reduce stress. We can instantly decode the underlying emotion of our parents and siblings even in the absence of verbal expression in a long distance call. Listening to sounds from nature and different kinds of music can reproduce feelings of calm and peace inside us within minutes.
A great way to learn.
Readers whose first language in not English would benefit immensely with audiobooks as English is not a phonetic language and the spoken pronunciation sometimes differs significantly from the way it may be spelled. When non-native readers go through such content they would be able to appreciate the linguistic variety and learn to use the language much more efficiently and pick up nuances of the accent that would fill the gaps in their understanding.
The marvels of technology have also increased our ability to get easily distracted in a sea of digital overload. Paying attention to the importance of what is being said versus simply hearing someone may well be an important skill to acquire as part of our evolving personality.
Listening to a message as well as reading it may well improve the comprehension of any topic as we aim to replicate the real-world feel of sensory experiences with technology. It is often easier to translate content into another language and deliver the same through an auditory method rather than provide the same through the written manner.
Content rich podcasts
When it comes to podcasts, there is no dearth of content that is available on iTunes or popular podcasting platforms such as Player.fm or Soundcloud. Here are some of my favorite ones that I have tuned in:
It will only get better.!!
The world wide web is more multimedia than ever before. Somehow, we are increasingly discerning and increasingly critical about content as we look for things to which we can relate to and use, in order to improve our lives. How can we tune in to what is going on and pick up the voice of another person who can tell us something that we long to hear and understand? Pick up an audiobook or listen to a podcast, of course!
We at WordWize will sift through the mountains of content, align it with your intended goal and deliver it to you.
Stay tuned.. and have a wonderful day..!!