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.