Contrary to some sniffy attitudes, yes audiobooks are reading, yes they are as good as the real thing, and yes your brain does think it's the same as reading a book. Here are the top 5 benefits of audiobooks:
Unlike a physical book or even a Kindle, you can 'read' your audiobook anywhere, on the train, when driving or doing chores and cooking at home, anywhere. Have a book on in the background while you complete craft projects or sew, have one on in the car for that long journey to a less-than-thrilling meeting, have one on while you batch cook or spring clean - you may even be more productive because of it!
With many books read by trained actors who can do all the voices and really bring the book to life they are hugely entertaining. Many people fondly recall the Harry Potter books as told by Stephen Fry, his dulcet tones adding depth and nuance to the written word.
You can also share your books with others by listening to them together and then, like a good film, you can discuss them after. Unless you're in a book group, this is unlikely to happen with physical books.
Keep getting all those minor characters confused? Listening to them talk may be more engaging and stop your mind wandering. Audiobooks can also be great for those tough novels that you feel you should read but find tedious or hard work. Abridged Tolstoy or Dickens may be better than none at all!
Want to read the book before you see the film? No time to read it? Listen to it instead. Download The Girl on the Train to listen to this week before you go to the cinema. Alternatively, if you've seen the series and want to get up to speed with the novels, you may not want to devote lots more hours to reading Game of Thrones, but listening to it while you do other things is more time efficient. This alos helps if you're not the world's fastest reader.
Most of us were read to as children and it is still very soothing to listen to a story at bedtime. Humans evolved with an aural tradition of storytelling around the fire, and listening to tales appeals to that deep-rooted part of our psyche. Radio 4's Book at Bedtime has been popular for years for this very reason, but now anyone can listen to a book before they go to sleep - can you stop at a chapter a night though?
Have we convinced you yet? If you would like to start trying audiobooks for yourself, online store Audible is running a great offer: one month free trial! Why not head over to their site and and start your free trial? You might just get the habit!
Last year, Carole Mansur picked her top 20 best audiobooks of all time for The Telegraph, here are just a few:
A Delicate Truth written and read by John le Carré, a post-Iraq inquest into the privatisation of war.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon read by Ben Tibber, with peripheral sounds carefully hinting at the narrator's Asperger's noise sensitivity.
Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling read by consummate British actor Martin Jarvis, a sly and subtle observation of the British caste system in India.
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene read by Samuel West, a sinister, icy reading of the dark underworld at the heart of this dark tale.
Try these audio delights and more at Audible.co.uk.