On Overdrive: Confessions of an Audiobook Addict

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On Overdrive: Confessions of an Audiobook Addict


I wasn’t familiar with the Overdrive App until my sister told me about it. Her daughter had a reading assignment, and her teacher passed along information regarding the app that has changed the way I sit in traffic.

Audio Apps Leave No Excuses To Read Or At Least Listen

Overdrive has left me no excuses when it comes to “having time” to read, all while helping me to learn to enjoy long Los Angeles traffic jams. Most people hate traffic, but not me, anymore, at least. If it weren’t for Overdrive, I probably wouldn’t have devoured so many delicious books. Whether I’m exercising, sitting in traffic, or in line at the grocery store, I’m listening to a book. Then, a couple of hours before bed, I’m reading a different novel in hard copy form.

Is Listening To Audiobooks The Same As Actually Reading?

Before you think that audiobooks are not the same as reading, it is. A 2016 study concluded that listening to audiobooks and actually reading results in the same desired effect on the brain. Audiobook apps like Overdrive sync up to your local library. All you need is a library card, and you can digitally borrow several audiobooks at a time.

What’s even better is that Overdrive offers the ability to borrow ebooks, too. Some of your favorite authors can be found in both formats. Overdrive gives you the lending option of either 7 or 14 days for ebooks. Personally, I prefer either listening to the audiobook version or reading the physical hard copy. However, plenty of readers devour digital books on their Kindle, iPad, or preferred tablet.

Benefits Of Making Time To Read As A Writer

Since using Overdrive, I have read, er, listened to over 40+ books in less than six months. While there are speed readers that can blow through more books in less time, I’ve always considered myself a slow reader.

Most of us juggle time. Some aspiring or debut authors still work a day job, and many have kids and families. We all have lives. Making time to write is, of course, an important aspect of writing, but so is making time to read.

I used to think that the first rule of writing is to write. Yes and no. After growing in the craft, I’ve learned that the first and most vital rule is to read as much as you humanly can. Without reading, how do you have the tools to write? How do you learn character development, plotting, what to do, and what not to do?

There are lessons to learn even reading a book that you didn’t like. Why didn’t you like it? Did the novel drag? Was there pointless and endless dialogue that didn’t move the story forward? Were there big reveals that seemed like you had to suspend your own reality in order to believe it?


The Bottom Line

Just as you can learn a lot from a great novel, you can equally learn a lot from one that didn’t connect with you. We can’t do that unless we read. You don’t have to become a voracious reader, but the more books you absorb, the more you start to understand what works and why. This sort of insight can only help us grow as a writer, aside from actually writing. Getting better as a writer is more than the act of producing the work, it’s having the patience to ingest and learn from the pool of talented published authors that have been there, done that.



Nathaniel Hawthorne



 

15 thoughts on “On Overdrive: Confessions of an Audiobook Addict

    Gentle Dave said:
    October 6, 2019 at 6:45 AM

    I actually didn’t know about Overdrive either. I’ll definitely check it out after your post since I’ve been considering listening to audio novels more. Thank you, Sonyo!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      October 6, 2019 at 8:47 AM

      Dave, you should totally check it out. I powered through so many books this way, listening on Overdrive. Even books I normally wouldn’t have read.

      Liked by 1 person

        Gentle Dave said:
        October 7, 2019 at 7:17 AM

        Thank you, Sonyo! I will. I’ve really been looking for something like this. My eyes are starting to tire from constant reading. I’m so addicted. Now I know I can rest my eyes while I still “read.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        October 7, 2019 at 2:01 PM

        It’s shocking how many books you can blow through via audio. The best part of all is that Overdrive is free. You don’t need to buy audiobooks. Sure, it won’t have everything. But, I’ve been happily surprised at just how many new books and books in other genres I’ve discovered that I actually enjoyed. One was “Sleeping Beauties” by Stephen King and his son Owen King. Honestly, that book is 702 pages…I don’t think I would’ve been able to finish it had I not listened to the audio version via Overdrive.

        Liked by 1 person

        Gentle Dave said:
        October 8, 2019 at 7:26 AM

        Oh, what a great plus that it’s free! I’ll definitely check it out and let you know what I discover. With your post and comments, I might want to become an audiobook addict, too, haha!

        Liked by 1 person

        Gentle Dave said:
        October 9, 2019 at 7:14 AM

        Sonyo, I checked out Overdrive. I guess what I discovered wasn’t very positive. I live overseas and we don’t have many English books at the library, even the best one in the city. There are a few titles for audio books on Overdrive, but not many at all. Sadly, the app will only connect me to my local library. I think it would be much better if I were in the US or an English-speaking country to get the best benefit out of this system. Really disappointed… 😢 Do you know of a comparable audio book system?

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        October 9, 2019 at 9:02 AM

        Dave…too bad! Darn it, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize you were overseas. Let me do some research and get back to you.

        Liked by 1 person

        Gentle Dave said:
        October 10, 2019 at 6:55 AM

        No problem, Sonyo. I looked into some others and I hate to think I’d have to pay a monthly fee for audio books unless I can get unlimited, so… I don’t know. Let me know if you find something. Thanks, hun! 😎

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        October 10, 2019 at 11:31 AM

        Dave, check out this article from Book Riot. They have a big list with some of the free ones. I wonder if you’ll experience the same situation being overseas? But it’s worth checking out. https://bookriot.com/2017/09/11/best-audiobook-apps/

        Liked by 1 person

        Gentle Dave said:
        October 11, 2019 at 7:30 AM

        I’ll check it out and let you know. I just bought an ebook from Amazon and was gifted the same book in audio. I never realized I could get that deal. It sure is one way to go. Thanks for your thoughtfulness, Sonyo!

        Liked by 1 person

    Mark said:
    October 6, 2019 at 8:50 AM

    I love Overdrive, it’s fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      October 6, 2019 at 9:06 AM

      Me too!!! Love it! Totally changes how I experience commutes or traffic jams or even the gym. 🙂

      Like

    Dave Gardner said:
    October 8, 2019 at 10:08 PM

    This is terrific! When I lived in LA and Phoenix, I did the same thing. I used to listen to educational CDs. It’s a great way to pass the time and take advantage of the long drive.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      October 9, 2019 at 9:04 AM

      Have you tried Overdrive? If you live in the U.S., they have more selections because it ties with your library card. I have an iPhone…I’m not sure if the app works for other smartphones. But, it’s free and you don’t have to pay for audiobooks. It’s great, as long as you have bluetooth in your car…you can listen to audiobooks straight through your car speakers or plug in ear phones and listen.

      Liked by 1 person

        Dave Gardner said:
        October 9, 2019 at 3:44 PM

        I’ve never tried Overdrive. I get access to audible through a reading app I use called Scribd. They offer a selection of audio books and e-books. I’ll give it a whirl. I’ve got an iPhone too! Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

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