Audiobooks are starting to gain traction, with the global audiobook market poised to grow more and more within the next few years. However, the concept of listening to a book, when all our lives we have read them in print or digital, can still be strange for some. We at Bookshelf PH will help you jump that hurdle with 5 reasons why you should pick up an audiobook today!
1. Health and learning benefits
Anxiety and depression are rampant in this pandemic, so it is important to monitor your mental health and have some sort of pick-me-up during bad days. As a form of entertainment, audiobooks are naturally a good way to reduce stress. Listening to someone read you a story allows you to unwind and get those negative thoughts out your head.
Aside from mental health, audiobooks can go a long way in helping you develop your literacy skills. Vocabulary, word-recognition, and comprehension are all skills that can be learned and refined through listening to audiobooks. With someone reading the text for you, you also learn how to pronounce certain words and connect context clues into the deeper meanings of the text through the narrator’s use of emphasis or tone. Apart from literacy skills, audiobooks also develop critical thinking and active listening skills, as well as emotional intelligence.
Having audiobooks at hand gives you, the reader (or listener), the potential to multitask. Walking, commuting, doing chores—these are all routine activities that don’t involve much headspace, so why not pop in some earphones and fill the time with some love story or self-help guide? In addition, you can download or stream audiobooks on your phone, so you won’t have to bring a book with you every time you feel like reading.
Filipinos spend over four hours each day on social media, according to a report by We Are Social and Hootsuite. Now add online classes or remote work hours, plus non-social media activities like watching Netflix or gaming, and that’s hours and hours of our eyes staring at a screen. Listening to audiobooks is recommended if you need to rest your eyes for a while but still want to be entertained or informed.
Reading doesn’t come easily for some people. Some may have disorders or impairments that make it hard to read, some struggle to read due to a lack of education, and some find the act of reading discouraging or boring. Shifting reading as an activity from being visual to audial gives others the opportunity to be able to enjoy the same content as those who can read just fine.
Many Filipinos cannot afford quality education, and as a result the Philippines ranks low on skills such as reading comprehension. There is also the fact that our country is a land of multiple languages and dialects, and some may not have as much proficiency with English or Filipino as with their mother tongue. The audiobook format, much like radio programs or educational CDs, offer an alternative way of learning and teaching that accounts for literacy and language restrictions.
Think of the epics chanted by Filipinos long ago, or Lola Basyang’s stories on TV, or the kwentong barbero and yes, even the prevalent chismis. Filipinos have always had a preference for telling and listening to stories orally, and this holds true even until today. Radio and television, both audio-visual media, are the go-to’s of Filipinos when it comes to entertainment and information.
Audiobooks are not that much different from the usual FM radio broadcast or jeepney driver’s tall tale as you take your morning commute. Both have a host or narrator and a good story that captures people’s attention. Another good thing about audiobooks is that unlike reading, it is not strictly solitary—you can call some friends over to enjoy and enhance the experience, and we all know that we Filipinos love our company.
Our culture is founded from oral tradition, one where our ancestors pass fantastic, vivid stories generation to generation through word-of-mouth. You’ll find that listening to audiobooks as a Filipino won’t be too much of an alienating experience.
5. Supporting local industries
Lastly, listening to audiobooks means supporting not only the author and cover illustrator, but also the voice actor or actress who narrated the audiobook. Some audiobook platforms like Libro.fm and Kanopy promote initiatives that aid local bookstores and public libraries with the sale of their audiobooks.
Our audiobook industry in the Philippines is quite small at the moment, but it holds much promise considering the amount of potential material we have on hand. Filipino authors whose works went under the radar can have their stories reinvigorated into an audiobook that can reach wider audiences. Classics such as Rizal’s works or old legends and myths can be converted into audiobooks for more Filipinos to learn about our culture and history. As media becomes more interspersed with the digital, the audiobook industry is one of many ways we can help Philippine literature as well as affiliate industries such as voice acting and production keep pace with other markets.
Audiophile, Bookshelf PH’s audiobook platform, aims to elevate the Philippine audiobook industry through its wide selection of Filipino audiobooks. Choose from a variety of genres such as contemporary romance, LGBTQIA+ and Tagalog language drama, with more genres soon to arrive at our catalog. You can become a member of Audiophile by clicking on this link. Once you register your account, use the coupon code GETSTARTED to get a free 1-month trial to stream our audiobooks at your own leisure.