My Reading + Audiobook Hack

I’m a voracious reader … always have been. As long as I can remember, I’ve loved to get lost in a book. As a kid, I was never without a book and that hasn’t changed. The last couple of years — with all my travel — I do the majority of my reading via audiobooks. Books take up a lot of space in a suitcase and since I read so fact, I’d have to pack a zillio.  of books for each trip. Lately, a lot of my business travel is in the car from my house to Tucson to my office in Phoenix, which lends itself to more audiobook time. 

To get my audiobook fix, I joined Audible many years ago and am a huge fan. But the more I traveled, the more I found myself burning through my Audible credits.  I was buying extra credits pretty much every month and it was getting expensive.

Then I found this article and this one, which both pointed me to some awesome public libraries that have huge digital collections and offer library cards to no residents at super reasonable prices. 

I started with getting audiobooks from my own library system (Pima County) and then added a subscription to the Fairfax County Virginia library system. They charge $27 a year for no residents and they have almost 10,000 titles (and are always adding more). So between my local library and the Fairfax libraries I can find just about anything I want. 

I use an app called Overdrive and I can add the different libraries I have cards for. That means library audiobooks are on one bookshelf and I don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to listen to them. 

I still use Audible, mostly for new books that the libraries might not have a digital copy of yet or the book has a huge waitlist and I want to read it right now. 

This has seriously changed my reading life. And I’m happy to have more ways to read and more books in my life. If you’re a digital reader (e-books or audiobooks), you should totally check this out. 

Note: I’m not a book snob. To me, any way you consume a book is fine by me. I read physical books. I use a Kindle for eBooks. And I listen to audiobooks. Stories are stories and I think people should fill their lives with them any way they can.

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