Audiobooks on the rise during pandemic

One of the few positives that can be said about the horrendous pandemic around the world, is that it helped to reverse what was a few years ago bemoaned as the end of reading. In fact, thanks to this dreadful event, book sales have gone up almost everywhere.

The reasons are simple enough. People had more time and fewer places to go and reading has been getting a lot of attention lately and it's all for a good cause. The latest innovations in technology have been making many aspects of reading easier, from finding new books to bringing materials from libraries into our homes. They also eliminate distractions from the outside world whether they're apps or just general noise which makes for a better read. Fiction sales (both e-books and paperbacks), as well as audiobook sales in the first half of 2021, soared, according to the UK's Publishers Association. Paper books and e-books were not the only ones that saw a boom in sales figures. In fact, audio formats are increasingly popular, even more than printed or electronic versions, with listeners/readers getting more choice. There are a few different opinions on why this format caught on so quickly, with people having different points of view. A story told by a pleasant voice can evoke the early childhood pleasure of being read aloud to. A narrator who dictates a good story is a pleasure to listen to. You feel richer for hearing them, as they show restraint and modulation with the words they use.There is also a debate on whether authors should read over their work or have it done by third parties. Stephen Lotinga, the chief executive of the UK Publishers Association, commented on how reading habits have been changed by the pandemic. He said: “it’s fantastic to see that audiobooks have offered people entertainment and comfort in this difficult period.” UK publishers are releasing books in different formats to suit readers in the UK and overseas. The rapid increase of audiobook sales suggests that new demographics are catching on to this format. The Economist, for example, reported that 2021 was set to be one of the best since 2004 for books in the US. Sales of e-books and audiobooks had double-digit growth in the preceding 12 months.  So wheter they are paper books or ebooks or audio books – regardless of the format – books are unlikely to suffer in quality with any emerging Covid-19 variant. In conclusion, there is no need to exclude anyone of these reading experiences from your life.

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