THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AUDIOBOOKS: Tips & Tricks on Getting into Audiobooks

HI everyone! So today I’m doing a discussion / advice post about AUDIOBOOKS. So I’m currently, lowkey, in a kind of physical book reading slump, but I am reading SO MANY audiobooks lately. I love audiobooks, they’re so convenient and I can get so engaged in them. They’re very comforting and relaxing to me, which I love, and listening to a book, while a little different, IS STILL READING. So it’s a win all around.

Some narrators are so good at what they do, they give an experience that is honestly above what you would get just from reading. For example, my favourite recent audiobook is Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. The narration by Khristine Hvam is indescribably good! She creates so many unique voices, you honestly would not know it’s one person narrating. But what I really loved is how she applied the Czech accent to the characters – thats not something I can do in my head when reading the physical book and it made the experience of listening unique and BETTER then what I could do myself.

I adore audiobooks, I think they are magical. But I know some people struggle with audiobooks, so for what it’s worth I’ve decided to post my personal tips and tricks to read more audiobooks. These things are what I did to get into audiobooks, so I hope it can help you guys too!



Step 1) Acquire Audiobook: The first thing you’re gonna wanna do is figure out where you’re listening to your audiobook from. I personally use Audible – it costs 15 dollars a month and you get one audiobook a month. Fifteen dollars for a book (especially new releases) is quite cheap compared to what books cost physically in Australia so this is worth it to me.

However, if you don’t want to pay for audiobooks, you can try audiobook services such as BorrowBox and Overdrive, through your library. Or, there are free audiobooks on Spotify, and YouTube. There are probably other ways to get them, but these are the main ones I know of!

Step 2) Choosing Your Audiobook: Choosing your audiobook is important! It’s gonna be your companion for the next few days/weeks (or longer) and it’s important you like what you’re hearing. Narrator is important! If you don’t like the narrator it makes it so much harder to get into audiobooks. So make sure you always listen to an audiobook sample! If you’re getting an audiobook for free this might not be as important (after all you can just return to your library and move on) but if you’re buying, you wanna make sure you don’t buy something you’re gonna hate. ALWAYS listen to the free sample. Audible offers 5 minute samplers of all their audiobooks for free, and even if you do not use audible you can still listen to the sample. So definitely do that.

I also recommend, if you’re starting out, choosing a shorter audiobook. An audiobook that doesn’t have 100 chapters is less daunting, especially since at first audiobooks can be hard to get into. You might find yourself missing sections and getting distracted at first, so a shorter audiobook is helpful. I started out listening to all the books in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series!


So now you’ve got your audiobook it’s time to listen. The great thing about Audiobooks is you can listen while you work. I usually have an audiobook on when I drive, during my train commute to uni, while I do housework, before I go to sleep and whenever else I can fit it in. The great thing about audiobooks is you can give them your attention while getting things done.

If you struggle at first to hear whats going on, try just listening to the audiobook without doing anything else. I find doing that helps me grasp onto the narrator and make it easier to follow the flow of the story. Also, start in 1x speed as it’s the easiest to follow. Gradually work your way up through the speeds as you listen. I listen to audiobooks in 2x now, and sometimes 3x, and it makes reading them so much quicker.

The thing about audiobooks really is, just like physical books, some will grip you more than others. I listened to an 85 chapter audio in a matter of days because I was engaged, but one that was 24 chapters took me a lot longer. It all depends.

My recommendation is so listen to audiobooks often so you get a feel of them. At first it’s kind of hard to adapt to the different way of reading but it becomes easier the more you do it. Now, I listen to audiobooks and am so immersed in them I forget I’m listening. It’s like a movie playing out in my head instead.

Also, try and find a style of narration that works for you. For example, I find female narrators easier to listen to then male ones. (no reason, just how it goes) Also, I love ensemble audiobooks. If there is only one narrator for multiple characters they need to be REALLY expressive. But find what works for you. And then try and stick with those kinds of audiobooks.


So here is some audiobooks I recommend and why. Maybe this will help you choose an audio to start with if you’re interested in listening to some (or some more) audiobooks

The Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire: These are the first audiobooks I listened to and I adore them. Book one (Every Heart a Doorway) is narrated by Cynthia Hopkins. Book two (Down Among the Sticks and Bones) is narrated by Seanan McGuire herself. Book three (Beneath the Sugar Sky) is narrated by Michelle Dockery. Every single narrator did an excellent job, though I particularly liked  Michelle Dockery. Every narrator was fun and exuberant, which definitely bought the child narrators to life. Seanan McGuire’s narration was a bit more ominous, but this definitely fit the overall tone of book two. These books are short and engaging both on plot and narration level and I highly recommend them.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor: I mentioned this above already, but I adore these audiobooks way too much. Khristine Hvam did just the best job with these. They made me fall in love with audiobooks. The narration is so well done it’s hard to tell it’s only one narrator doing all these voices. I loved the accent used and the general tone, and also Hvam spoke quite slowly which let me listen at 2 speed with ease, which was nice. Adore these audiobooks, want everyone to hear them.

Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo: This is an ensemble cast narration including Jay Snyder, Brandon Rubin, Fred Berman, Lauren Fortgang, Roger Clark, Elizabeth Evans and Tristan Morris. I can safely say these narrators breathed such a new life into the characters. I reread these books via audiobook and it was such a good, interesting experience. These narrators made each character so vivid and the story so impactful.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind by Yuval Noah Harari: If non-fiction interests you I highly recommend the audiobook of Sapiens! This is a book detailing the entire history of humankind in 500 pages and it’s incredibly interesting. It’s narrated by the author which worked wonderfully. The narration made this so engaging and interesting even on the topics I didn’t like as much.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert: This isn’t my favourite actual book ever, but Alisha Wainwright did an AMAZING job narrating this. She plays Maia, in Shadowhunters, if any of you watch that. Her voice is perfect for audio though and I love the way she narrates. She made this audiobook funnier then I think the physical book would have been, and the way she narrates each character really made it feel like I was hearing more than one voice.



And thats pretty much the whole post for today! I hope this can potentially be of some use to you guys. I adore audiobooks, they’re so interesting and fun and full of life and I’m so glad I have fallen in love with them, and I really hope some other people can do that too.

Feel free to drop questions, OR AUDIOBOOK RECOMMENDATIONS in the comments! I am always adding audiobooks to my wishlist.

Until next time !

xo jamieson





  1. I’m listening to A Torch Against the Night as a reread right now. I found that rereading books I loved helped me get into audio books, and then I was more comfortable worth the format and branching out.


  2. Claire @bookscoffeeandrepeat says:

    Have you tried using Scribd? I heard (just this morning) that you can get unlimited access to audiobooks & ebooks for $9/mo?


    1. jamishelves says:

      I thought about getting it, but it doesn’t really have the range Audible does imo. Thats why I went with Audible in the end

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Silvia says:

    Thank you for this post!!! I just started listening to audiobooks less than two months ago and I already feel like I can’t live without them.
    I’ve only listened to a full one and I’m in the middle of one but I can 100% recommend both: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and THUG! I love both narrators (Neil Gaiman himself and Bahni Turpin for THUG) even though they have very different styles.
    I think I’m going to check out The Wayward Children as audiobooks if I find them cheap or free somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jamishelves says:

      I know exactly what you mean, I cannot live without my audiobooks now. I have Norse mythology in my wishlist, I think. I’ll have to try and get to it soon. Oooh I have heard such good things about the THUG audio, I might reread THHUG via audiobook maybe

      Liked by 1 person

  4. emmareadstoomuch says:

    this post saved my life


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