5 Reasons Audiobooks are Bad for Your Life
You might suppose that here at Scottish Book Trust we are uncritically supportive of books in all their forms, as long as people are reading. Well you would be wrong! I am here to convince you that listening to audiobooks is detrimental to your day, a wrecking ball for your relationship, scarring for your social life and all-round bad for your life. If, having read the reasons I outline below, you are not convinced or even worse, you decide you want to give audiobooks a go – on your own head be it! I can do no more!
1. They ruin relationships
You will no longer want to travel to work with your beloved or walk home with a friend. These journeys become Sacred Audiobook Time or SAT. You will not want to sacrifice SAT for chat with another human. Or if you grudgingly do, you will spend the whole time wondering what happens next in your audiobook, and if you can legitimately ditch your commute companion somewhere before journey’s end to sneak in a little more SAT. This breeds resentment in your nearest and dearest.
2. They're bad for the environment
Audiobooks are frequently lauded as the entertainment solution for long journeys – particularly in the car, where they can keep everyone quiet hours and keep the driver awake (always a bonus!) However, be warned; you may find yourself driving around when you reach your destination because you want to hear the end of the book, or at least get to the resolution of a plot twist. This is bad for the environment and your wallet as you will end up using far more fuel than you ever intended on your weekend break in the country.
NB: Conversely, there is nothing more annoying that being the kind of person who falls asleep very easily on trains and wakes up in London to discover that you have missed four hours of crucial plot.
3. They make you paranoid
At some point you will probably make the mistake of listening to some kind of thiller/horror/mildly scary bit while walking home at night in the dark. This will make you irrationally jumpy, and may lead to you threatening to karate chop complete strangers when they oh so creepily walk up behind you on the pavement.
4. They are highly anti-social
It is very inconvenient to have to stop and start your audiobook as you interact with other people – getting on the bus, talking to shopkeepers, greeting your neighbours, etc. Consequently you will continue to listen to the compelling psycho-drama playing out through your headphones, and respond to greetings and questions only with nods and grimaces, or worse, by speaking unreasonably loud. Justifiably, others will start to give you dirty looks and talk about you behind your back .
5. They make you want a life-narrator
Constantly having someone telling you stories as you journey through your day, especially with a wonderful, rich voice and the ability to turn their tonsils to a range of compelling and distinct voice characterisations, makes the times when you can’t hear them seem empty and cold. You will yearn for a life-narrator of your own, even if you have seen this cautionary tale. Not being a film character or immensely wealthy and eccentric, it is likely that you will never, ever have one. This will leave a small yearning hole in your sense of self.
So there you have it. Take it from me, audiobooks are dangerous, and once you start it is very, very difficult to stop. Save yourself while you still can.