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When I was a child, my mother used to tell me that “a book can be your best friend”. I’ve always loved reading, but I never fully understood what she was telling me, me until I grew older. Reading has always been a sort of escape from reality, the moment in which I can reach inner peace and well being.

Today I want to share with you what I understood about books and why they can truly be our best friends!

Book lovers, this is for you!

1. A book doesn’t judge you.

You can read whatever you want without feeling judged by your book! If you don’t enjoy a book, you can put it down without fighting with them; if you want to re-read a novel, you can do it multiple times…A book is always there for you and it never makes you feel judged!

2. A book never leaves you alone.

Whether you are traveling, waiting for your turn at the post office or just home alone, reading can bring you a lot of company! In silence or in chaos, a book can make you feel less alone.

3. A book always teaches you something.

If you read a love story, you can learn that love doesn’t like prejudices, or that true love basically always win, even if the process of winning may be hard. Instead, if you read a book of Economics, you’ll learn a lot about production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Basically: if you read, you learn!

4. A book helps you to know yourself better.

Sometimes we can’t find proper words to describe our feelings and situations. And sometimes we find in a book the same exact story that we are living. Characters and words can help us to rationalize or feelings and to really start to understand and express them!

5. A book makes you live other lives.

While reading, you can basically become what you want. A hero from the past, a little girl who wants to become a ballerina, a serial killer or a politician. It’s the most amazing thing about books: they can make you live other lives, try things you’d never have the chance to and feel things you thought they were impossible.

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Over the last 12 months I’ve consumed a lot of audiobooks – an average of 2 a month. I still prefer reading books for learning, but I’ve realized that audiobooks are also great for that purpose and much more. If you aren’t sure if audiobooks are for you, here are seven reasons why you should start incorporating audiobooks into your life.

1. Preference

Some people prefer audio over text for learning and maybe you’re one of them. If you don’t like reading, experiment with audiobooks and see if this helps you with learning.

2. Better Retention

I haven’t found any conclusive evidence that reading is better than listening (I do know that reading is an ineffective way of processing information), but what I do know is that if you combine the two that you’ll get the best of both. Audiobooks are great to supplement previous knowledge to solidify information.

If you have read a book before and then listen to the audiobook version, you’ll retain and reinforce much more information. I’ve noticed this myself with a lot of books that I’ve read and reviewed in the past.

For example, I’ve read and reviewed Getting Things Done a couple times but some of the concepts really stuck with me for the first time when I finished listening to the audiobook version. I’ve noticed this with other books too such as Think and Grow Rich, Switch and Delivering Happiness.

3. Faster Learning

One of the main advantages of audiobooks is that you can pace the information you consume. I like to play my audiobooks at 1.5x or 2x speed and it doesn’t affect my comprehension. If you want to go through a lot of information, this is a great way to do that.

4. Save Time

As much as we discourage multitasking, sometimes it can be useful and effective. Audiobooks are great for that. You can listen while you’re cleaning the house, folding clothes, shaving (yes I’m weird like that) or anything else that doesn’t require much focus.

It’s especially effective when you’re commuting. I used to listen to tons of Anthony Robbins audiobooks on my way to work and I learned a lot of things while I was stuck in traffic. Plus it was really uplifting and made me more engaged at work.

5. Uplifting

Speaking of, just like listening to good music can uplift your spirits – so can audiobooks.

Reading inspirational quotes and passages are great, but it doesn’t beat listening to a person that motivates you to do great things while you’re learning at the same time.

6. Effective

Some books are better to consume over audio than over text. I find that conceptual books and biographies are better off consumed over audio than text.

Books like Good to Great cover big concepts that are best consumed over audio. You don’t need to know the exact details of the research as long as you understand the major concepts. The same goes for biographies – I usually don’t care about where the person ate breakfast every Sunday or where he/she went to work, as long as I grasp the major events of that person’s life and grasp the sequences leading to major breakthroughs of that person.

On the flipside, I would avoid listen to audiobooks that cover a lot of detail and require you to take a lot of notes, e.g., books about neuroscience or how to books.

Once a while you’ll buy a book, read it and find yourself really bored reading it. Sometimes it’s hard to get through a “dry” book but I’ve found that usually they are great to listen to. If you ever find yourself in such a situation where you know the book content is great but it’s hard to read, grab the audiobook version and go from there.

7. Convenient

Audiobooks are really convenient. You can have them on your phone, iPod, computer and in the car. This makes the content accessible and you can easily continue where you left off from last time.

Whenever I’m reading a book, I need to find myself a quiet place and almost force myself to be fully present. With audiobooks I find it much easier to pick it up and start consuming – regardless of location, noise level or time of day. It’s just so convenient.

If you have a great audiobook to share, let us know in the comments below!

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