Anna Jacobs is the bestselling author of over sixty novels, including the Australian Romantic Book of the Year for Pride in Lancashire in 2006. She grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly.
In about 1850, Elizabeth Barrett Browning produced one of my favourite poems. It begins: ‘How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.’ That seems to apply equally well to today’s audiobooks. There are so many ways to love them, so many uses for them. The obvious one seems the most important to me: to allow people with vision difficulties to continue ‘reading’. How wonderful that is! I asked some friends, who are all multi-published novelists, and they use them while they’re cleaning the house, exercising, driving, sewing, lying in bed recovering from a migraine. As one put it: any place that you can’t hold a book up in front of your face. Sometimes the characters seem more immediate when you can hear their voices, especially with a good reader. The response that amused me most of all was to find out how to pronounce the characters’ names because that reader hates it when she’s not sure how to read them ‘properly’. Is it any wonder audiobooks are so popular?