[Book Talk] When is the Best Time to Listen to Audiobooks?

16:50 Cilla P 8 Comments

I have been listening to audiobooks more and more lately. This is partly due to their accessibility - I can download them from my phone - and partly because it helps me rest my eyes. To me, audiobooks are a little like bedtime stories from your childhood: someone's reading out loud to you and doing all the appropriate voices, and there's a 'sleep' option.

Is bedtime the best time for audiobooks though? After a few days of listening at different times during the day, here is what I've found:

While Commuting

The advantage of taking public transport is all the extra time for reading. The problem is: my eyes have been quite strained from all the screen time at work and during studying, and reading print books don't help. Audiobooks mean I get to close my eyes for forty minutes more and still enjoy a good story.

On the downside, it can be really hard to hear the story when you're on a moving vehicle, let alone listen. More than once, the tram I'm on turns a corner while the story I'm listening to gets to a really important point, and all I hear is the creaking of steel. Turning up the volume is an option, but then you risk breaking your eardrums. Plus, sometimes narrators can be screechy when the volume is up! Some parts of The Scorpio Races left my ears ringing.


Sometimes there's nothing good on TV. The problem with audiobooks and cooking though, is that I'm really not that good of a multitasker. I'd be focused on making my dinner and miss chunks of the story. For me, it only works if I'm listening to a story I've read before and can afford tuning out of (like Harry Potter).


Unfortunately I don't have a reading lamp, so it's really convenient to be able to switch off the light, crawl into bed, and turn on the audiobook. There's no distraction, so I can concentrate fully on the story. There are two disadvantages to this though. One is that some nights I nod off before my sleep timer, and have to rewind in the morning. The other: sometimes the story's so exciting, I'll be more awake than when I got into bed!

The Verdict

In my (admittedly limited) experience, yes, bedtime is the best time to listen to audiobooks. I imagine if you have other pockets of the day where you're somewhere quiet and doesn't need to multitask, that would work too. I've never tried it while driving, mainly because I'm a beginner and I wouldn't risk splitting my attention between the driving and the story. I've heard it works for other people though!

Let's talk!
Are you a good multitasker?
When do you listen to audiobooks?
What's a story that, when read out loud, you can listen to over and over again?


  1. Interesting. I can't sit still and listen to an audiobook. I need to be doing something. But not something too intense. I do best listening while driving to and from work and when folding laundry. I can doing something that keeps my body busy but not something that really needs my whole mind (which is scary that that describes driving, but it is what it is).

    1. That's interesting! I think if you've been driving long enough, it does become automatic. It definitely isn't for me yet, so I wouldn't dare!

  2. Great post! I am just starting to get into audiobooks because I can listen to them on my commute. I have tried other times but I just can't focus/concentrate enough to enjoy them. I love reading before bed so I think that would be a very hard adjustment for me ♥

    1. I think if listening on your commute works best, keep at it! :D Thanks for stopping by, Eva <3

  3. I love to listen to audiobooks in the car. That's when I listen most often, but I also sometimes do it when I'm doing basic chores around the house like folding laundry. It's perfect for those types of situations. I also sometimes listen at night, but I've had both of the problems you pointed out.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Audiobooks do make chores less boring! :D

  4. I listen while driving and working out.

    1. Ooh I always work out to a video instruction, so I've never listened to an audiobook then!


Thanks for reading! It makes my day to hear your thoughts and I will respond asap. :)