How often do you listen to audio books

What happens in your head when you listen to audiobooks

The other day I was in bed listening to an audio book by Jonathan Safran Foer. I put it on to sleep, as everyone always recommends. It was 11 p.m. At 4 a.m., I was still lying awake, listening intently. How someone can sleep when another person is talking is simply a mystery to me. In any case, no sign of tiredness for me. After all, the story creates a colorful play of colors in my head. Who is thinking of sleeping there?

Others may swear by TV or movie streaming - I swear by audio books! Because I want the full program: I want my head to strain a little. That a whole world of its own unfolds before my inner eyes that only I can see alone. And I want the original text that the author wrote for me, and not some version adapted for the film audience.

The only thing that really captivates me is what goes straight into my ear. Audiobooks not only shower me, they also challenge my imagination. They make me devote myself completely to them, to put myself in the shoes of the characters, to feel with them, to laugh and cry. So I not only see how Lizzy Bennet struggles for composure in “Pride and Prejudice” - no, I can hear her thoughts, feel her fears, empathize with her doubts and feelings. It's like she's entrusting everything to me directly - she whispers in my ear. I never get that close to a literary figure.

Audiobooks are always wonderful - and also a little bit cleaning

In general, whenever I listen to an audio book, I am always surprised at how the story mixes with my own real experiences. Then suddenly the characters look amazingly similar to the people in my life. And then the scenes take place in places I know. For example, when Charlie and his new friends are racing through the streets in their car in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, then for me they are always out and about on Leopoldstrasse in Munich, even if I've heard the book in English and it's in America plays. Because I was living in Munich when I heard the audio book for the first time. Outside, thugs rushed past in their expensive convertibles. It's a shortcut that I can't get rid of. A perfect match.

On the other hand, when Mr. Darcy goes for a walk with Elisabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice”, it is always on the hill with the big chestnut, under which we always played as children. No matter how often I hear the book - and no matter that I should know better by now - Longbourn, the home of the Bennets, always looks to my head like my hometown. And when I heard Marc-Uwe Kling's “Kangaroo Chronicles” for the first time a few years ago, the kangaroo naturally moved into an apartment that looked confusingly similar to that of my Berlin friend Lotte.

I love that. How all these stories come together in your head and somehow get lost in my world. How I can relax or even be stirred up by the story that is being told to me. And I love the narrators' voices that simply nestle in my ear. They are like old acquaintances whom one always likes to meet again.

Audiobooks create real JoMO moments

Even as a child, I loved hearing stories. Back then it was my mother or grandma who sat next to my bed with the fairy tales and - unintentionally - kept me from sleeping. They too had surely imagined it differently. Later the tape recorder took over its role. You could turn it on and off yourself. And when it was your turn on the B-side and you were too lazy to get up yourself, you could simply read yourself the text you had heard a hundred times. That was really great.

A lot of time has passed since then: there are no longer any cassettes and mum is not always ready to hand. But thanks to new offers such as the BookBeat streaming platform, I can now listen to my audiobooks anywhere and anytime on my mobile phone.

And because you always feel transported back into this cozy, perfect Bullerbü world when you turn on an audio book, there is always something pleasant about listening. And not only when you go to bed with a cup of cocoa in the evening, but also when you have to sit on the train for hours, chopping a mountain of vegetables for lasagna or when you are dozing on the beach, blinded by the sun does not want to reach for the book. There is always a story you can let yourself into that makes everything better - or makes an already beautiful moment a little more beautiful.

What I owe to my old Astrid Lindgren tapes

By the way, today I know that reading aloud is particularly good for children: It increases empathy, imagination, spatial and logical thinking. Children who are given a read can concentrate better and memorize things more easily. They have a larger vocabulary, learn to read better, and are better able to organize their thoughts and put them into words. In short: listening is simply good for the head.

So if I enjoy having something read to me today, I'm actually doing something cognitively good for myself! Another important point - if you ever have to explain to someone why you prefer to listen instead of looking. And why falling asleep would be a waste. Because as we all know, watching TV gives you square eyes, but listening gives you all of the superpowers mentioned above.



Audiobooks go straight to your ear. They can stir us up, relax, educate us and are generally a very healthy pastime. At BookBeat, the streaming platform for audio books of all kinds, you will find audio books for every situation - on demand. Get here your discount code and listen for free for 1 month.