I am something of a book lover. I love the weight, the feel, the smell of fresh ink and paper in my hand. I love getting engrossed in a story that I can’t put down even if that means I might spend an extra hour in bed relaxing and enjoying the story when I should be out exploring the city; but what if I didn’t have to lose that extra hour of exploring and could still read my book? Well, ‘hear’ my book.
For my latest trips I’ve been testing out Audible.com.au, an Amazon company, to see how it can fit in with my travels.
After downloading the Audible app onto my iPhone, I was quickly able to sign in with my Amazon ID (if you’re new to Amazon you’ll need to go online to set up a new account) and sign up for a free 30-day trail to Audible which gave me credit for 1 free book (you will need to enter your credit card details if you don’t have them saved to your Amazon account already.)
Running through the Audible interface I noticed that currently Android or Windows phones can download directly to their phones, however if you’re using the iPhone App – like I was – you will need to head to the Audible section of the Amazon website to download.
Heading online to Audible.com.au I browsed through the e-book section – although not quite the same as running your hands along the smooth spine of a paperback book, it is definitely as lot easier! I downloaded the sample audio of a few choices but, after conferring with my housemate who would be listening to the audiobook with me on our Tasmanian Road Trip, ended up settling on Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Downloading took only a few minutes and I was set for the next day.
Using Audible on a Road Trip
Settling into the car I connected my iPhone with Bluetooth to the cars entertainment system and opened Audible. Clicking open the Audible app, then ‘My Library’ I selected Gone Girl. It instantly began playing over the cars audio system and our road trip officially began!
As we drove out of Launceston I began to relax into this strange new (and slightly soothing) world of having a book read to me, the voices calm and the narrators speaking in accents, an authentic touch for the main character that was born and raised in Southern USA.
While I didn’t use the apps interface while driving, I left that job to the chief road trip navigator Vickie. She commented that she particularly liked the big buttons on the apps interface which made finding ‘play’, ‘pause’, and ‘bookmark’ easy, especially when we were stopping a lot, like in Hobart. Every time we got back into the car to continue driving I would press the ‘rewind 30 seconds’ button and we’d catch up on what we’d just listened to and then continued on with the rest of the book.
Thoughts on Audible
Initially I was curious about this whole new world of listening to my favourite books, and new finds, through the Audible app on my iPhone. It took me a while but I gradually began enjoying the experience of the book playing in-between Vickie – my road trip buddy – and my conversation gaps; we can talk a lot but with nearly 600 km of road to cover in just three-days it was nice to stop talking and listen to the audiobook play. Best of all, if you don’t like the book you’re listening to you can exchange it for another.
On my Tasmanian road trip both Vickie and I really enjoyed using Audible. Instead of using each others music playlists, that the creator might like but the other might not, we chose a book we both wanted to read and stuck with it. We could stop, play, or pause any time we wanted to stop. It also wasn’t as distracting as I thought it would be and kept me focused when the highways seemed to become endless.
Currently, Audible.com.au is offering a free 30-day subscription with one free book download, with each month thereafter costing AU$14.95 with one free book download each month or AU$22.95 for 2 free book downloads each month. There’s also a range of annual plans or you can choose to pay-per-download. If you shop around the store, the plans can be incredibly good value. While books like John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars cost only AU$17.49 to download, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl would have cost AU$32.74 to download. Best of all you have unlimited sample versions of books to ‘try before you buy’.
Will I keep using Audible when I travel? Yes! I think my preferred way to use Audible will be when travelling solo or exploring cities by myself. I think it is also going to be a great addition to my inflight kit – I have a long-haul flight to Singapore in a few weeks and will be testing it out again, and using it as an alternative to music when working out.
Now it’s over to you
Are you a fan of audiobooks?
Which book would you listen to first?
Nicole’s Top Audible Choices for those bitten by the travel bug!
This post was written with the help of Audible.com.au
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.