Tools I use: Audiobooks

Audio guide icon isolated on white background

When it comes to consuming books, I prefer to consume and digest audiobooks. My ears are more available than my eyes. When I am cooking, driving, traveling, walking, showering, waiting anywhere…I listen to either podcasts or audiobooks. Rarely do I listen to music. I would prefer to learn something.

Audible is one of those great options for audiobooks.

I converted hardcore print book readers into audiobook listeners when I asked them how well they were able to finish a printed book (or ebook) and how quickly they consumed that physical book. The speed and comprehension are unmatched once you get used to consuming audiobooks and note-taking as needed.

Since I use my local county library resources, I first check hoopladigital.com or overdrive.com (check with your local library what they have available) because it is free for audiobook and ebooks. If it is not available on Hoopla then I go to Audible if I really want the audiobook based on reviews and necessity. This way I maximize the audiobooks I can consume and digest each month with the best value.

I started a reading log last year as I consume more books.  In order to reference them faster for myself and others so I can share links to them more easily. Tracking and measuring my reading progress with books is another reason to log them. If you read a handful of books a year that is not really a challenge. Since I am consuming over 52 books a year (71 books in 2020), that is a bit more effort of lifelong learning in a more efficiently and effectively manner.

Do you consume audiobooks?

Questions?

Tools I Use: Text to Speech

text to speech

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Previously, I wrote about dictation and transcription services I use for speech-to-text.

Now imagine getting anything on your computer read back to you.

There is a little-known tool available on most computers called text to speech.

Why do I use this little-known tool meant for accessibility? I am not illiterate nor blind, but I do use this often because my ears are available more than my eyes are.

This is the same reason I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Ears can take constant input. Eyes are needed for many things to see around you, guide you and also read.

If I need to “read” an online article, email or document (like an ‘exciting’ contract), this will read aloud all text as-is. Your computer may have multiple voices to choose from to read this text Verbatim.

  1. Find ‘text to speech’ in your system preferences.
  2. Select a voice you want to read the text and the rate of speed for the machine to read it to you.
  3. Memorize the hot keys to hit to activate this function
  4. Select some text on your internet browser or within a document.
  5. Hit the hot keys.

It will read just about any text to you so you don’t miss it.

Yes, you can control the rate of how fast or slow you want text read to you.

I use this text to speech to do the first passes of editing and proofreading of my eBooks.

Audio is faster than typing or reading (I speak fast too). This is the same reason why I recently adopted and use an Amazon Echo Dot. I can ask Alexa any of its 15,000+ different ‘skills’ which includes continuing an audio book from Audible.

Some apps call it ‘read aloud’ feature. Adobe Acrobat has this feature to read PDFs back to you as well.

Have you tried using text to speech to save yourself time?

Questions?