** This post was written by Tales2go Summer Intern, Alex, a junior in high school in Washington, DC. The titles pictured throughout the post are his recommendations for other teens.
Every morning during my sophomore year, my dad drove my brother and me to school. My brother and I went to two different schools- he was in middle school and I was in high school- my dad dropped my brother off first, and after 15 minutes we would arrive at my school. As soon as we got in the car, my brother would demand the aux cord (or connect with Bluetooth) to play his loud music for the 10-minute commute to his school. Then my dad would take the cord to plug in his phone, and play the daily audiobook of his choice. The first day he did this, I didn’t pay much attention because I had heard about audiobooks being boring- the same as the books we read in school. The next day while he was driving, my dad told me to listen to a book called Future Crimes. The book was 10 hours long, but we listened to all of it over the next few days! It was addicting! I quickly learned all the ways future technology can be manipulated for the use of hackers. It later inspired me to join the Cybersecurity Club at my school, to learn more.
My experience was not an exception, many of my friends listen to audiobooks. Their longer commutes to school from outer parts of the city result in many hours in the car or metro. They told me the solution was a pair of earphones to tune out the noise, and their phones. They listen to sports books, fables, mysteries, biographies, short stories and more!
Putting an aux cord in your car as a high schooler and listening to audiobooks is the best thing you can do for yourself. We spend so much time commuting in cars: school, sports, after school activities. Audiobooks can especially be enjoyed by kids who have extremely long commutes, spending a lot of time in transit between places. I have friends who come from the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia who don’t get home until 8pm and have to leave at 5 or 6am to get to on school on time. A lot of them have shared anecdotes about how they use audiobooks to catch up on some reading for school or just personal listening to make the ride more fun. At my school, kids can be assigned up to two hours of reading assignments a day! If a kid comes home at 8 and it takes him/her two hours to finish reading, plus the hour it takes them to finish the rest of the homework, it’s 11 o’clock before they are able to get ready for bed. Having the ability to use audiobooks on commutes can save students tons of time in terms of homework, and eventually it adds a few hours of sleep that are essential to being productive. Some kids also use audiobooks to tune out the surrounding noise. Kids on a metro can use audiobooks to relax, or if mom’s on an important business call, kids can distract themselves with a good mystery audiobook. The bottom line is: audiobooks can be an essential part to any teenager’s life.
Audiobooks also help teenagers multitask, and they are easily accessible. For example, when you wake up in the morning, you can put on a story while you're getting ready, or when you’re going to bed at night. Audiobooks can also replace the heavy load on the eyes, and can allow you to concentrate more on the higher level material that requires a lot of attention to digest. Audiobooks also allow people to easily access thousands of books on their phones, rather than having to carry all the books physically. Many high schoolers have a phobia of being unproductive, and if they see the benefits of multitasking with audio books, the flow of knowledge will convince them to continue. People can listen to audiobooks anywhere: working out, on the metro, in bed, outside. Teens use their phones so much anyway, why not use them for audiobooks… not a bad obsession to have!