I joined Audible on February 12, 2013, making today my 9th anniversary on the service. It is, by far, the service I use and benefit from more than any other. I’ve written before about this, but Audible has allowed me to read more because I can listen to audio books while performing other tasks like driving, exercising and doing chores around the house. It also introduced me to a new dimension–narrators–many of whom I have come to love. For my favorite audio book narrators, I’ll go out of my way to find books that they narrate, just becaues they narrate them. What is remarkable to me about this transforming is that there was a time, not long before 2013 when I was sure that audio books were not for me. Boy was I wrong on that one!
In that time, I’ve listened to 5751 audio books from Audible, or about 63 per year, on average. That adds up to a total listening time of 9 month 11 days 13 hours and 5 minutes — or 21,157 hours of listening time. During that period from February 12, 2013 to the present, I read a total of 629 books, meaning that audio books made up 91% of the books I’ve consumed in the last 9 years.
For the first several years, I listened to all the books at 1x speed. Gradually, however, I increased my listening speed over the years, working my way up, so that today, I typically listen to most books at 1.7x. It sounds fast, but I’ve gotten used to it. And besides, my kids talk faster than that.
Over the last 9 years I have accumulated 1,157 books on Audible, which just about matches the number of paper books I have surrounding me in my office. Yes, I have about twice as many audio books in my library as I have actually listened to, but that is sort of by design. Those unread books are my antilibrary.
In all this time, and with all these books, I’ve never had a problem with Audible’s service. It has worked virtually flawless for me from the start, and the features that they had added over the years have only improved my reading experience. No service that I use has been as reliable as Audible over a 9 year period. It’s really remarkable to me: in more than 21,000 hours of listening, I haven’t had any problems.
That’s not to say that Audible is not perfect. I’ve often wished for a better way to annotate audio books, but I understand it is a hard problem to solve. And Audible has done a good job at keeping their app simple and usable. Better annotation features might complicate that simplicity. Audible is about as perfect as a service can get.
Written on January 31, 2022.
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- As of January 31, 2022. Probably a few more by now. ↩