Let’s face it, we hardly have time to eat these days let alone sit down and read a book. So it’s not surprising we’re reading less. According to Pew Research Center the number of US Adults that have read a book the last year has fallen from 71% to 63% in 2016.  Are social networks to blame? This article on Quartz suggests that in the amount of time spent on social media each you could read 200 books.

All is not lost, as the audio book boom is upon us. 33.9% more audio books were published in 2017 compared to 2016. With that in mind, we invited a full time working bookworm and audio book lover to give us a run down of when to listen to audio books. 

Audio Book Discovery

The book was an early causality when I started living in the city, working long hours, looking after a family and spending more time ‘connected’. However, all was not lost. A few years ago while struggling to find time to read a book, I tried the audio version at the suggestion of a friend. I would listen to chapters while carrying on with my day-to-day life. To my surprise, I found it extremely enjoyable and it helped pass the time while completing the most mundane tasks. 5 years later and I’ve become an avid audio book listener. On the metro, at the gym, while cooking and dare I say (occasionally) while at work!

So for all you fellow book lovers with little or no time to read, why not give audio books a try? To help you, I’ve put together a list of times throughout your day when you could to listen to audio books.

When to Listen to Audio Books

1. Car Journey

drivers view of road

A long car journey is the perfect time to put on an audio book. Turn off the music and give it a go. You can even put on a children’s classic that the whole family can enjoy.

2. Walking

walking pink trainers

A great alternative to music and a way to block out your surroundings, especially if you’re a city walker like me.

3. Running

girl running with earphones

Try listening to an audio book during your run. It’ll help you to zone out. Before you know it you’ll have completed that 10km and will be looking forward to the next one.

4. In Bed

headphones on bed

An audio book is a great alternative to the radio. Listen to a few chapters to help you relax and drift off to sleep.

5. While Doing Housework

mop on wooden floor

Washing, cooking, cleaning and the rest of those mundane household chores are made bearable with an audiobook playing in the background.

6. At Work

desk laptop working

Since this is an area that takes up an excessive amount of our time then it’s only fair we claim some of it back right? A prerequisite for this is the ability to multitask. However, I imagine most of us are already fully qualified since it’s necessary for most jobs.

7. At the Gym

guy on treadmill

The BPM might not be at the level you usually require to complete your workout but it’s worth a try. Take your mind off those 100 reps you’ve got coming up by listening to an audio book.

8. At the Beach


If you’re at the beach then, in theory, you have time to read a book. But between trying to keep the sun out of your eyes and finding a comfortable reading position, it’s not ideal. I find the audio book solves this problem.

9. Meal Times

salmon and vegetables

For those of you that usually dine alone, this is a good time to listen to a chapter or two. If nothing else it’s a bit of company.

10. Gardening

woman gardening

Backbreaking work can made more pleasant with a classic novel playing.

11. Commuting

girl new york subway

While playing sardines on the metro an audiobook helps to block out everyone else around. Unlike those heavy metal listeners, the soft vocal tones of the narrator is unlikely to annoy your fellow commuters.

12. When Tired

girl lying with headphones

After staring at a monitor all day I can barely focus my eyes on the page. Best to rest those tired eyes I say and opt for the audio version.

13. When Cooking

All the veg is sliced and diced, the chicken is in the oven and you’ve managed to listen to a few chapters of my book while doing it all.

14.  When Ironing

iron and shirt

For those of us that still require to a crisp shirt for work then there’s no avoiding the ironing. Play an audio book to take your mind off this dated chore.

15. In the Park

park with lake

Like at the beach, if you’re lazing in the sun then you should lay back, close your eyes and listen to an audio book.

16. When you Forget Your Book

open book

Since we’re all connected with our mobile devices, then an audio book can save the day if you forget your book. These days it only takes a few clicks to stream an audio book online.

17. Doing Social Media

This 21st-century activity has become extremely time-consuming. So why not listen to an audiobook while you update your status, tweet, like, follow and peruse the other world you live in.

18. Doing Homework

textbook pad pen

For the younger generation out there. If you need to read 3 chapters of Shakespeare before class tomorrow then you could try the audio version. There’s no guarantee it will be any easier to understand but it will save time!

19. Family Time


What a great way to share a story with the family. Educational for the kids too.

20. Bedtime Story

Press play on a children’s audio book before the kids go to sleep. The real win here is that you’re then free to go and relax and pick up that book you’ve been dying to read!




You can search, download and listen online to free classic audio books at digitalbook.io.