Once upon a time, I dropped $60 on a stack of nonfiction books at Books-A-Million, and I didn’t. finish. a. single. one.
Really, it’s a complete scandal.
Not the $60 part, but the fact that I couldn’t finish any of them. I just got bored. I don’t know why exactly, but for the longest time, I have struggled to finish (or even enjoy) nonfiction.
In some ways, it’s a classic case of analysis paralysis: I would spend so much time pouring over every single meaningful sentence that it was impossible for me to actually finish. And because of my over-analyzing, reading nonfiction required so much brainpower that I’d rather just pick up a fiction book or magazine — anything that didn’t require deep personal contemplation.
Until recently, when I discovered something beautiful.
Like a glorious, glittering unicorn riding out of the clouds and trailed by a stream of rainbow-colored butterflies, I discovered the magic grail.
The nonfiction audiobook.
Suddenly, my life flashed before my eyes and a whole new world of possibilities opened up to me: It was possible for me to love nonfiction!
It was just like the moment I discovered I could like guacamole. I’d wanted to like it for so long, recognized the benefits of liking it (it’s totally hipster to be into guac, obvs), and I’d even tried a few bites at restaurants … but I just hadn’t discovered the perfect method of enjoying it (homemade, extra chunky, light on the onion).
And from that moment forward my whole life has changed. (Ok not really, but this is BOOKS and GUAC we’re talking here people)
I know this is all difficult for my fellow visual learners out there to swallow, but hear me out:
Isn’t finishing a book is better than it laying around, untouched and lonely, for months?
If you’re worried you won’t retain as much knowledge listening to audiobooks as you would reading them, just remember this simple math: you’ll probably remember about 60% of what you listen to via audiobook, as opposed to 85% if you read it with your eyeballs. Contrast that with about 20% remembered if you never finish the book.
I’m 100% making this math up. I actually have no idea and these results have no basis in scientific fact (please don’t sue me).
My math teacher father would be so proud.
What genres do you like listening to on audiobook?