Getting the Most out of Audiobooks

Anyone who’s ever perused my iPod has probably noticed that about half of it is filled up with the art formerly known as books-on-tape…now, more accurately audio books.

To make the most of my mowing time, my short commute, and walks around the Old Port, I pop on my iPod and listen to Blink, All Marketers Are Liars, Your Marketing Sucks, or any of the other books I’ve downloaded from

Although audio books can turn lost time or down time into
productive time, I often find I don’t get as much out of an audio book
as I do from the printed version. Often, I find myself saying, "this is
good; I should buy a copy of the book."

Because of the nature
of the audio book, (the inability to know when the chapter will be
wrapping up, the difficulty in re-reading a paragraph to get more out
of it, especially while driving or mowing, the fact that I often don’t
have a free hand to take notes, the pointlessness of a highlighter,) I
find that I’m only absorbing part of what the book is trying to get

Lately, I’ve taken to carrying a personal recorder–my
"dictator"–to make audio notes of items in books. It makes me look
like a total geek, but I’m OK with that.

My friend Tom McKay sent me a link to a post at called How to Log and Measure Your Audio Book Listening Habit.

Turns out Maulik–the blogger–was having some of the same problems that I am.

day, after completing about 20 books, I realized I had no account of
what I had read, nor what I found interesting about each book….So I
started logging how long each book was, when I read it, and what my
thoughts were.

Maulik goes on to talk about how he set up a
spreadsheet to track this info as well. However, that may be more than
I’m ready for right now. 

My goal is to get the most out of
the audio books I read. The best way to do that is to take notes on
what I like and dislike about them, and prepare reviews. Rather than
set up a spreadsheet, I’ll be using this blog to talk about some of the
best (and worst) of the audio books I’m listening to.

Since the new month just started, I just got two new books from Audible. For September I’ve chosen Free Prize Inside! & Purple Cow (a two-fer!) by Seth Godin and A Branded World by Michael Levine.

I’ll let you know what I think.

Rich Brooks
Listening…so you don’t have to.