18 Things to Do While You Listen to an Audiobook

18 Things to Do While You Listen to an Audiobook

18 Things to Do While You Listen to an Audiobook

 Audiobooks are ideal for getting more stories into your brain, especially when you don’t really have the time or the capacity to sit down with a paperback. The beauty of audiobooks is they can liven up the most boring task; they can also help you relax as you engage in a favorite activity. And who doesn’t need a little help relaxing these days?

The possibilities are endless. To get you started, here are a few suggestions for things to do while you listen to an audiobook, as well as listening recommendations to pair with them.

Arts and crafts 


Coloring is a great way to soothe frayed nerves. And you COULD listen to a lovely story at the same time, like, say, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, which is a hug in book form. But you could also listen to this murder story in which color is a big part of the plot… 


Coming in May, Real Men Knit is the story of Jesse Strong, who wants to keep his adoptive mom’s knitting store open when she passes away. And on whom a part-time shop employee has a crush… This sounds as delightful as the fluffy sweater you might be currently knitting.


I’ve been meaning to get into calligraphy for a while, and there’s something about the repetition of it—and really slowing down to take your time over each letter—that’s really soothing. I’ve also been meaning to read this book for a while — it’s the story of Meg Mackworth, expert calligrapher and reader of signs that other people miss, including that of an impending failed marriage… 

Building Things

Doing Jigsaw Puzzles

Putting things together to create a complete picture… that sounds a lot like what mystery novels and thrillers do. Here’s one I loved about a Member of Parliament accused of assault, told mostly from the point of view of the lawyer prosecuting him.

Building with Lego(s)

Can you build a girl out of Lego? The heroine of How to Build a Girl doesn’t use bricks to make herself a new identity. Instead, she uses books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes. 


Going for a walk 

You might not be walking the Pacific Crest Trail, but you can imagine that you are as you take a stroll through your neighborhood with Cheryl Strayed’s modern classic memoir in your ears.



Rules for Visiting is a lovely book about friendship, loneliness, and midlife. Its heroine, May Attaway, is more into plants than she is into people, and her story will help you reflect on both. 


I see a lot of runners out and about, and I wonder how many of them have discovered the joy of audiobooks. If you’re sick of your Spotify playlist, it might be time to exchange it for this short book by master of prose (and lover of running) Haruki Murakami.

Going for a Drive

We all need a chance of scenery sometimes, and if you’re lucky enough to have a car, then a drive down the highway with your windows open, the wind in your hair, and an audiobook blasting might be your perfect escape. Catch up on an underrated classic: Travels with Charley tells the story of John Steinbeck and his French poodle as they drive across America. The eloquent author reflects on the people and places he finds along the way.

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