The benefits of listening to audio books

Growing bookworks 2

I love listening to audio books. There is no better way, in my experience, to appreciate a good book than listening to it being read aloud by a skilled reader. I listen to approximately four audio books in a six week period, many of which are classic books.

My love of listening to stories started when I was a little girl, although audio books were few and far between then. I remember listening repeatedly to a cassette with four stories about a family’s adventures in the wild west of America which I was given as a birthday present. My father also bought me a couple of LP’s, including Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty, and I listened to these often.

During our music appreciation lessons at school, our teacher played us the audio books of Peter and the Wolf, a symphonic fairy tale for children, which comprises of a narrator telling a story while an orchestra illustrates it. The intention of this composition is to introduce children to the individual instruments of the orchestra and it did its job well for me, as listening to this story is one of my remembered highlights of my childhood and I have never forgotten the names of the various instruments and the sounds they made. If you are interested in listening to this brilliant story, you can find it here:

I also remember listening to the Sparky books at school. This series comprises of Sparky’s magic piano, Sparky’s magic echo, Sparky’s magic baton and Sparky and the talking train.  The magic of these stories is still readily available to me if I sit and conjure up my memories of listening to them as a child. The audio versions of these stories made a huge impact on me as I don’t remember any story that I read myself as vividly.

When my boys were small I searched for, and purchased, all of the Sparky stories and Peter and the wolf as audio books for them. We used to listen to them in the car when we traveled, together with an array of nursery rhyme CD’s. My boys grew to love music and both of them learned to play instruments. Michael still plays the drums and intends to learn the guitar as well.

Audio books are a wonderful way of teaching children to appreciate literature and also grammar. They enable children to learn and understand complex language above their own reading levels and illustrate the benefits in story telling of punctuation, enunciation and emphasis.

Audio books make literature more accessible to children who struggle with reading, giving them an opportunity to enjoy the text without struggle to decipher difficult text. It teaches children new words and phrases, thereby expanding their vocabularies. In addition, in a modern world of shortening concentration spans in children due to television and computer games, audio books teach children to sit and listen.

I used audio books extensively as a tool to help Michael learn to enjoy books and develop a love of reading. When Michael was four years old, I discovered Naxos Audio Books and I bought a significant number of these for Michael. We listened to non-fiction books, including Famous Heroes of the American West, The Vikings and Great Scientists and Their Discoveries, fairy tales, including Grimms’ Fairy Tales and fiction, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, New Treasure Seekers, The Phoenix and the Carpet, Five Children and It, The Children of the New Forest and The Coral Island. Amazingly, Michael loved The Children of the New Forest and The Coral Island and listened to them repeatedly during his bouts of illness.

I received Michael’s school report for the first half of the year recently and the teacher remarked on his excellent vocabulary and above average comprehension skills. I attribute his strength in these areas to all the audio books we listened to and all the reading aloud I did to him and his brother.

Did your children listen to audio books? If yes, did you experience these benefits? Let me know in the comments.

About Robbie Cheadle

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Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I have recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. I have two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre and three short stories included in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories edited by award winning author, Stephen Bentley. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have recently published a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Goodreads: Robbie Cheadle – Goodreads

Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books


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33 Comments on “The benefits of listening to audio books”

  1. Hi Kaye, thank you for sharing this post.

    • No, thank you for your valuable contribution to Writing to be Read. It’s a great post. It’s “writing to be read”. Lol

      • Oh dear, I must check what I wrote. I do know its Writing to be Read.

        • No, silly. I meant your writing is “writing to be read”. Lol. It is deserving of being read. It adds value to the blog.

        • Haha, thank you, Kaye. I thought I had typed to fast when I shared the post on Facebook. That is a lovely compliment.

        • It really is a good post, Robbie. Audio books are wonderful. I too had LPs when I was a kid. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, “Cinderella”, etc… I still have a 78 record with story book of “Bozo Under the Sea”, although I don’t have a turn table to play it on anymore. But, I enjoyed them immensely and shared them with my children. Now we don’t need the records or the turntable. We can download them right onto our devices, which makes them even easier for children to enjoy them. Hooray for audio books!

        • They are great, Kaye. I listen to loads of audio books but don’t watch any TV. I think I like the dramatic addition of a good reader, but without sacrificing any of the text or detail of the book.

  2. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:

    I am over at Writing to be Read with a post about the benefits of audio books for children. Thank you Kaye Lynne Booth for hosting me.

  3. Darlene says:

    Audiobooks are so great for kids, especially reluctant readers. It is like being read to which we all know is good for children in so many ways. We didn’t have audiobooks growing up but we had radio shows with books being read. I loved them. I also enjoyed Peter and the Wolf. What a great memory, thanks! How wonderful that Michael’s teacher acknowledged his excellent vocabulary. Well done, you.

    • Thank you, Darlene. I was delighted that the audio books and my reading to Michael has good him in such good stead. I love audio books, I listen to them while I bake, drive and if I do a mundane, repetitive task at work. Thanks for visiting me here.

  4. Susan Scott says:

    Loved reading how children enjoy the richness of the story without having to decipher difficult text. A boon! Great post thank you both!

  5. Ritu says:

    They are great, but I cannot find myself able to listen to books anymore. As a child, I had many taped story collections that we used to listen to in the car, and I’d follow the story in a book too!

    • In some ways, it is more difficult to find the time for audio books as an adult with a full schedule, Ritu. They take longer to listen to than when you read a book yourself. I really enjoy being read to while I am driving or baking but I don’t listen to them at home much as I get constantly interrupted and I find that annoying.

  6. Sharing your post, Robbie! I haven’t gotten into audio books YET, but whole heartedly agree on the benefits of listening to skilled readers read to listeners of all ages. ❤ Happy reading, writing and listening. xo

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Bette. I often listen to books that I would find difficult to read myself, such as classics and autobiographies. It is lovely to have them read to me and the pace is generally slower. I am currently listening to Fahrenheit 451 and enjoying it immensely.

  7. Hi Robbie. Thanks for adding this to Friday C&R. Audio books are great for listening to in the car.

  8. colingarrow says:

    Great stuff, Robbie – keep on truckin 😉

  9. That Peter and the Wolf is a classic. I don’t think it gets any better than that.

  10. Jennie says:

    This is absolutely wonderful and true. Audio books pour all those words into the brain and ignite creativity and learning. I love your detailed description. Peter and the Wolf is one of the best to introduce music. It comes as no surprise that Michael’s vocabulary and comprehension are well developed. Thank you, Robbie.

    • I am glad you enjoyed this, Jennie. The Sparky books are also lovely for music appreciation. I loved Sparky’s magic piano and wore the LP I had out with use. Michael is a little super star. He has been quite ill again and is spending a lot of time listening to books.

      • Jennie says:

        I will look into the Sparky books. When a record gets worn out, that’s a testament to how good it is. Thanks, Robbie. I hope Michael is feeling better soon.

  11. Norah says:

    I agree with you that audiobooks are great, Robbie, for children and adults. 🙂

  12. Teri Polen says:

    Wow – until I read this post and you mentioned Peter and the Wolf, I’d forgotten all about audiobooks in grade school. Now I can remember teachers playing the albums for us to listen to. Just in the past year, I’ve started listening to audiobooks – especially for long drives when I’m by myself – and I also get Alexa to read book from my Kindle. Great post, Robbie!


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