Audiobooks are taking the literary world by storm. You’ve likely seen them everywhere, from online platforms to your local bookstore’s virtual shelf. It’s a trend that’s hard to ignore, and for a good reason! Audiobooks bring stories to life.

You can listen to your favorite novels, biographies, or educational material while multitasking or relaxing.

But here’s the catch: with so many options available, how do you pick the right one? It might initially seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the audiobook scene. What genre should you choose?

How important is the narrator’s voice? How long should the audiobook be? These are a few questions that might be swirling in your head.
Don’t worry, though!

This blog is here to help you with audiobook selection. Our goal is simple: to guide you in finding the perfect audiobook that suits your taste, style, and needs.

We’ll walk you through the steps, making the process as enjoyable as finding a new favorite book on the shelf. Ready to get started? Let’s go!

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1. Define Your Purpose

Before you click “download” on that first audiobook, it’s essential to think about why you want to listen. Your purpose will guide your selection, so consider these different angles:

Reading for Leisure: If you’re in it for the fun, the world of fiction awaits you with its boundless imagination. Thrillers, romance, fantasy—pick what intrigues you the most.

For example, if you are a fan of mystery, you might enjoy Agatha Christie’s classic “Murder on the Orient Express,” narrated to perfection. Why not listen to a preview and see if it draws you into a world of intrigue and suspense?

Education: Do you want to enhance your knowledge of a subject? There’s an abundance of non-fiction audiobooks covering topics from history to personal development. It’s like having a personal lecture series in your pocket! Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” explores the factors contributing to high success levels. Have a look at the preview here:

Relaxation: Sometimes, all you want is a gentle voice narrating a soothing story to help you relax. You can select from a range of poetry to calming nature tales, to help you wind down.

Consider “The Calm Collective’s” series of meditative audiobooks, designed to provide a serene listening experience, perfect for relaxation and mindfulness practice.

By defining your purpose, you can narrow down your choices and find the perfect audiobook that aligns with what you’re looking for, enriching your listening experience. 

2. Identify Your Preferred Genre

Now, let’s talk about genres. Your favorite genres in traditional books are likely to be hits in audiobook form, too.

Fiction vs. Non-fiction:

Fiction: Do you enjoy getting lost in a made-up world? Then consider novels like “Dune” by Frank Herbert (science fiction).

Or you can explore the mystery genre with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

If you prefer romance, check the audiobooks like “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks.

You can check more fantasy audiobook recommendations on our site here.

Non-fiction: Interested in real-life insights? Explore works by Yuval Noah Harari, such as his non-fiction book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.”

Non-fiction also covers areas like self-help, such as “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.

Or check history with titles like “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough.

3. Consider the Length

Your time is valuable, and audiobooks come in all lengths.

Short Stories vs. Full-length Novels:

  • Short stories like “The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway” are great if you want to complete a book in a single sitting or two.
  • Full-length novels like “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt provide a richer, deeper experience you can enjoy over time.

Time Commitment Considerations:

  • Consider your schedule and how you plan to fit in your listening. Do you want audiobooks for your daily commute? A shorter title like “Animal Farm” by George Orwell might be ideal.
  • Settling in for a weekend of listening? Perhaps a more substantial book like “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace is the perfect choice.


4. Key Considerations in Choosing an Audiobook

Assessing the Narrator

The voice telling you the story can make or break your audiobook experience. Here’s what to look out for:

Importance of the Narrator’s Voice and Style:

  • A narrator’s voice needs to be engaging and match the tone of the content. For example, the soothing voice of Stephen Fry narrating “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling has been praised by many.
  • A monotonous voice might find you drifting off. If the narration is too over-the-top, it might distract from the story.

Previewing the Narrator Before Purchase:

    • Most platforms, like Apple Books, allow you to listen to a snippet of the audiobook. You can use this opportunity to see if the narrator’s style resonates with you. For instance, Sissy Spacek’s narration of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, has been highly regarded.

We have a blog about the top 10 best audiobook narrators, you may check that too.

Investigating Listener Reviews

Real people who have already listened to the audiobook can offer insights:

  • Importance of User Reviews and Ratings: Reviews offer insights into audiobooks’ content, quality, and overall listener satisfaction. Look for overall trends in feedback, as seen in the positive reviews for “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah, narrated by the author himself.
  • Places to Find Trustworthy Reviews: Websites like Goodreads host community reviews, making them excellent places to seek out honest opinions. 

5. Analyzing the Audiobook Preview

You wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it, and the same goes for audiobooks:

  • Listening to Preview to Gauge Quality and Content: Preview often provides a clear picture of the audio quality, pacing, and production. Listen for any annoying background noises or inconsistencies in volume, as you might find in a well-produced title like “The Martian” by Andy Weir.

  • Evaluating Audio Quality, Pacing, and Production: The technical side matters! High-quality audio, proper pacing, and professional production, like in “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, contribute to a pleasurable listening experience. 

6. Considering Multi-Language Support

Not everyone wants to listen in English, and some are looking to learn new languages:

  • Options for Non-English Speakers: Many platforms offer audiobooks in different languages. 
  • Language Learners: Audiobooks can be a fantastic resource if you’re trying to learn a new language. 

Selecting the perfect audiobook isn’t just about the title and author; it’s a multifaceted process considering everything from the narrator’s voice to the technical quality. But don’t let that overwhelm you. With some thought and these considerations in mind, you’ll be on your way to a satisfying audiobook adventure. 

7. Special Considerations for Different Listener Types

For the Avid Reader

If books are your constant companions, transitioning to audiobooks can be a new way to enjoy your favorite stories.

  • Considerations for Transitioning from Print to Audio: Not every print book translates well to audio, and vice versa. When exploring audiobooks, such as “The Name of the Wind” Patrick Rothfuss, narrated by Nick Podehl, think about the kinds of stories that might lend themselves to a listening experience.
  • Engaging narrators and rich storytelling can add a new dimension to a familiar tale.
  • Recommendations for Adaptations of Favorite Books:  If you have favorite books like “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, check to see if there are audiobook versions with rave reviews, like the one narrated by Rosamund Pike. Skilled narrators can bring well-loved stories to life. 

For the Commuter

Stuck in traffic or navigating public transport? Audiobooks can be your perfect travel companion.

  • Selecting Audiobooks Suitable for Travel and On-The-Go: Consider content enjoyed in short spurts, like “The Complete Essays of Montaigne” translated by Donald M. Frame. You’ll want engaging material that doesn’t require intense concentration, as travel can often be interrupted.

For the Student

Audiobooks can be both a tool for entertainment and education.

  • Educational and Academic Audiobooks: Studying history, science, literature, or another subject? Look for audiobooks like “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking

    or “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.

    These can complement your studies and supplement lectures or textbook readings.
  • Learning a New Language: Audiobooks like the “Pimsleur Language Programs” can be a fun and effective way to immerse yourself in a new language. Listening to native speakers through audiobooks can aid in comprehension and pronunciation.

Ultimately, your unique interests and daily life play an important role in shaping your audiobook choices.

And remember, the right audiobook not only entertains but also transforms mundane or challenging moments into something enjoyable and enriching.

8. Platform-Specific Considerations

When finalizing the audiobooks, the platform you choose to listen on can significantly impact your experience. Here’s what you should consider:

Reviewing Different Platforms for Audiobook Access

Different platforms offer unique features, libraries, and experiences. Some may specialize in specific genres or have exclusive content. Take time to explore platforms like Apple Books, Audible, Google Play Books, and others that are widely available.

Features to Look for

  • Speed Control: Not everyone enjoys listening at the same pace. Look for platforms that allow you to adjust the narration speed to your liking, from slowing it down to catch every word to speeding it up for a quicker listen.
  • Bookmarking: This feature lets you easily mark and return to your favorite passages or simply pause and resume your listening without losing your spot.
  • Offline Listening: A platform that allows downloading for offline listening can be a boon if you frequently find yourself without a stable internet connection.
  • Integration with Devices: If you like listening through smart devices, look for platforms that offer this integration for hands-free listening.
  • Accessibility Features: For those needing larger text, voice commands, or closed captions, ensure the platform provides inclusive features.


Choosing the perfect audiobook is an exciting and deeply personal journey, one that is shaped by your unique interests, lifestyle, and preferences.

From assessing the narrator and sampling the content to considering specific platform features and personal listener needs, you have a wide array of considerations that guide your choices.

Now it’s time to take the plunge. Your literary horizons are about to expand in ways you never anticipated. With so many genres, authors, and narrators waiting to be explored, the perfect audiobook is out there, just waiting to be discovered.

So why wait? Start your audiobook journey today! Explore, experiment, and embrace a new way of connecting with stories. Happy listening!