My Joy of Audiobooks

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    I suffer from hyperacusis, following a head injury sustained in a car accident. I lost the ability to read books something I had enjoyed all my life. Listening to books gave me back one of my pleasures in life, does it substitute the feeling you get when you open crisp, new pages of a novel, no it doesn't but it does allow me to enjoy reading once again.

    My Joy of Audiobooks

    In 2006 I was involved in a automobile accident, I suffered a head/brain injury from which I recovered almost fully, the only exception is I can no longer read novels, or books as my attention to detail when reading a long chapter is no longer there.
    Many people have difficulties with reading and writing following an acquired traumatic brain injury. Often an individual will find they have gone from being a big reader to not wanting to read at all because it is such a difficult task.

    The ability to read and write can be affected by a brain injury in several ways:
    • Not being able to read or write text.
    • Not being able to understand the text.
    • Reading and/or writing gives you a headache or makes you feel ill.
    • You have difficulty reading/writing more than a few lines without forgetting what you have read/written.
    • It is hard to focus on an individual line of text.
    • Reading and/or writing makes you extremely tired.

    (speech-language therapy information and activities) Go to Adults Traumatic Brain Injury section (TBI)

    In addition, I can no longer listen to loud music, or music which has a lot of base as it causes headaches and sometimes migraines.

    Research is unclear as to the exact mechanism and causes but possible suggestions are: an increase in a chemical in the brain that helps prioritize sound, following a head injury or exposure to loud noise. For many people however there is no obvious cause. A number of disorders listed below have also been linked as possible causes for hyperacusis symptoms:
    • Bell's Palsy
    • Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome
    • Perilymph fistula
    • Migraine
    • Depression
    • Autism (40% of sufferers describe hyperacusis)
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Lyme disease
    • Williams Syndrome (90% of sufferers describe hyperacusis)
    • Multiple Sclerosis

    (Hearing Link, UK Hearing Loss Organisation & Charity)

    In 2009, I moved from AZ to OH to work, I found myself living in the country and my drive into the big city was going to take me a couple of hours.

    I found the drive in the dark to be monotonous, I couldn't listen to the radio constantly due to my auditory issues, so I either spent the time turning on and off the radio, cd and in silence.

    My cousin who had listened to books on CD encouraged me to try audiobooks; I dismissed this suggestion as something that wasn't for me. I could not see the point of listening to a book, I had enjoyed reading books and now that pleasure had gone, I felt that nothing could replace that.

    One Sunday, my cousin gave me an audiobook by James Patterson, I left it in my car for several weeks and I completely forgot I had the book in my trunk. Then one day I thought I would give it a go! I put the cd on my passenger seat; looked at it for several more days and then I placed the first CD into the player.

    Initially I couldn't get into listening to a book, the narrator annoyed me, I didn't like his accent or the intonation and stress in his voice. About 30 minutes into the book I realized I was actually enjoying the story, the narrator no longer irritated me. Not only I was inside the story, I was anticipating the development of the characters and imagining how it could end! I could picture clearly the description of the characters, the scenery, the colors and the drama as it unfolded.

    This was a familiar pleasure, one that had been lost to me for over 3 years; it felt warm, comfortable and enjoyable. The journey was over before I was ready for it to be over, I sat in my car in the car park listening to a few more pages. I felt distressed that I had to stop listening and had to go into work. In 3 simple words 'I was hooked'!

    There is never a week that goes back that I don't love to travel, just so I can listen to the current book in my life. I have progressed from CD's to a Kindle fire, I download books to listen to, I have an aux cable, which allows me to listen to books through my radio via the Kindle.

    So my suggestion is, give it a go! You don't know what you are missing until you try it!
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 24, '17
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  3. by   herring_RN
    Thank you!
    I love to read. After reading your article if i have any issue with reading I will immediately start audio books.
  4. by   Quendi
    I am an avid fan of audiobooks. My main reason for giving them a go was how busy my life is. This combined with being a student (really, who wants to read after spending hours studying a textbook) pushed me to try them out. I had a friend lend me one that I was able to put on my iPhone. I found myself listening 24/7. In the morning, in the shower, cleaning the house, doing yard work, drives to and from school and work, you name it! I now go through 3-4 books per month, way more than I ever did while reading (it's so hard to find the time!). I'm a member of, and I have loved every minute of it. I'm so glad to hear you have been able to rediscover your passion for books despite the obstacles. Technology really is an amazing thing.