When you’re working 9-5 every day, usually the last thing you want to do when you get home is pick up a book. If you’ve grown tired of listening to your favorite songs at work and want to catch up on your reading, there’s a solution!
I recently discovered that audio books create fun, soothing background noise to help you pass the time while you work. Especially for creative jobs like writers, designers, and artists, a book playing in the background can also help encourage and foster your imagination.
If you think listening to an audio book would be too distracting then just continue listening to your tried and true jams. But it’s worth a shot! You can test the waters with any of these grade A audio books hand-picked for your (and my) enjoyment:
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien performed by Rob Inglis Not only is this a great choice because the story is captivating, but the movie is coming out on December 14 (is it December 14 yet??), so you should probably see what this wonderful story’s all about so you can be just as excited as we are! This is worth the listen for Inglis’ version of Gollum alone, not to mention the voices of the many dwarves, Gandolf, and all of the other mythical creatures of Middle Earth that Bilbo Baggins and co. encounter.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling performed by Stephen Fry All the books and movies might be over, but you can start reliving the magic with the audio book. If you’re looking for audiobooks that will keep you busy for a while, Fry has narrated all 7 books of the series, so you can listen as he brings all the wonder of Rowling’s wizarding world to life for hours and hours on end. If you’re living in America it might be tricky to get your hands on a copy of Stephen Fry’s version, but Jim Dale’s version is just as charming.
Bossypants by Tina Fey performed by Tina Fey Not only is this a very funny, inspiring book, but it’s narrated by the lovely Tina Fey, and she’s the best. Bossypants was a very entertaining read, but it’s even better when you get to hear all of Tina Fey’s anecdotes told in her own voice. This one tops Amazon’s list of the best audio books of 2011, so you can be sure that it’s not just on this list because I’m a Tina Fey fangirl.
The Wild Things by Dave Eggers performed by Dion Graham If you’ve never heard of The Wild Things, it’s essentially the grown-up version of the beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. While it’d be great to listen to an audio book of Where the Wild Things Are, that would only get you through about half an hour of the work day. This audio book will last you much longer than that, and you still get to enjoy all of the wild characters. Since this is the grown-up version you should be warned that the tone is not as lighthearted as the children’s book, but Dion Graham has a voice deep and dark like the announcer in a movie trailer, which makes for very soothing background noise.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum performed by Anne Hathaway If you’ve been clicking your heels together three times all day while at work wishing it would send you home, then this is the audio book for you. While you work you can get swept away to the wonderful world of Oz. Anne Hathaway really brings all of the characters to life with exciting voices, which make this extremely entertaining to listen to. This audiobook is part of audible.com’s a-list collection, a collection of classic books narrated and performed by famous celebrities. Other options in this series include Claire Danes reading The Handmaid’s Tale, Samuel L. Jackson reading A Rage in Harlem, and Nicole Kidman reading To the Lighthouse.
Now instead of whistling while you work you can make some headway on the list of books everyone should read once in their lifetime. You can find some audio books on music streaming sites like Spotify and GrooveShark, or there are specific audio book sites like AudioLiterate, Books Should Be Free, and Audiobooks.com. AudioLiterate and Books Should Be Free allow you to stream and download audio books of classic literature for free since the works are now under public domain. Audiobooks.com charges a monthly fee of $24.95, so make sure you’re really into audio books before signing up. If all else fails, you can always head out to your local library and check some out!
What do you think? Will you be listening to audio books at work? Which of these audio books would you like to check out? Are there others you would add to the list?