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Audiobooks that Inspire Wanderlust

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.

Using Audible on a Road Trip

First Impressions

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.

Audible-Hand-Held-App

Using Audible on a Road Trip

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.

Using Audible on a Road Trip

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?

 

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Nicole’s Top Audible Choices for those bitten by the travel bug!

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This post was written with the help of Audible.com.au
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.

 

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I didn’t know about Audible, I’ll have to check it out. I have several long haul flights coming up in the next few months so it might just come in handy, although $32 is a lot to pay – you could get a real book for that. I must work out how to geoblock so I can pay what the rest of the world does, instead of what they make us pay here in Australia.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      October 1, 2014 at 12:23 am

      True but that cost was just for ‘Gone Girl’.

      There’s a few options but I really think that the AU$14.95 with one free book download each month or AU$22.95 for 2 free book downloads each month (with the first month free, including one download) is pretty reasonable.

      I’d probably use my monthly credit for the expensive book and buy a second or third one a little bit cheaper.

      Good luck and let me know what you think of Audible! 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna
    September 10, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Audible is ALL the rage huh? I am a fan of audiobooks, but only when I am working or really busy, its a good way to get some new ‘content’ in my brain, or relax after a long day and not have to ‘work’ for it. But when I travel, I love to read books, I like the feel of the paper and the smell too. That’s a bit creepy. LOL! But something about a book in my hand makes me think… Yep, you are on hols, lay back, relax and enjoy. 🙂
    It seems a little Xe… Maybe its just here in Canberra, but you can borrow books & audio books for free and for like 6 weeks at a time too, seems more worthwhile to borrow than to subscribe. Anyways, thats just my preference. Happy Wednesday to you. 🙂

    • Reply
      Nicole
      October 1, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Yep – Audible is all the rage and it’s pretty cool!

      It’s really sad but I don’t even know where my local library is (well, I know where the one it at Uni but they’re not as cool as your local library!)
      I think the costs for the plans are very reasonable (AU$14.95 with one free book download each month or AU$22.95 for 2 free book downloads each month (with the first month free, including one download)

      Hope you try it and hear what you think about Audible. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sammi
    September 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Oooh…. I… don’t… know.

    I am moving to Finland soon and was considering downloading the Kindle app for my tablet, but I’m still not convinced. I like books. I want real books.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      October 1, 2014 at 12:26 am

      I totally understand you Sammi!

      My childhood book shelf is bowing (seriously!) from the weight of all my books (and that’s just some of them…) but for living internationally or travelling Audible or Kindles are great options!
      I love paper books but I find that I have to ship them home (and do…) because I read a lot! This just makes things a little easier… for me.

      Give it a shot and tell me what you think. It’s always nice to be able to try things for free. 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna
    September 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Last year my Mom & I did a long trek over to South Australia, Mom’s always been a big fan of audiobooks so I knew I’d be in for a couple of stories with all that time in the car. We totes got into what turned out to be a very funny author & laughed our way across hundreds of kilometers, it was really fun. I’ve been downloading the odd cheeky book or two since.

  • Reply
    Johanna
    September 25, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Woah, definitely going to try it as I’m often sitting in the car thinking I wish I had something better to listen to than the crackly radio and inane DJ’s yakking about nothing. Love that it can be used on Android (yay) and obviously on Ipad too – guessing it all syncs together – will give it a go. Love your book selections. Off to find Louis Theroux!

    • Reply
      Nicole
      October 1, 2014 at 12:28 am

      And there’s so many advertisements on radio stations now-a-days!

      Yes, it does all sync together. Just need to download the app and open your account on both device. Just remember to bookmark where you’re up in the audiobook. 🙂

      Enjoy Louis Theroux!

  • Reply
    Maddie
    January 7, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    It’s worth checking out the “BorrowBox” app. You can borrow Bolinda audio through your public library for no cost, and download the audio file. It works the same as borrowing a book. If someone has “borrowed it”, you can request it and will receive an email when it is available.

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