Canada has long been a nation of readers, and over the past sixty years, Canadian writers like Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje have become international literary superstars. It would be fair to say that Canadians care about good writing.
One of the most noteworthy trends of the past decade, however, has been the shift in how Canadians connect to good writing. Audiobooks have become a major force in publishing, and according to Publishers Weekly consumer continues to grow year after year.
So how did Canada get hooked on audiobooks, and why do literature fans love them so much? Here the three main forces driving the audiobook trend.
Audiobooks Introduce Listeners to New Worlds
Canada is a multicultural nation, home to people from all over the world, so Canadians tend to be interested in learning about other cultures. And when they do travel beyond their own borders, it is usually with a sense of great curiosity about the wider world.
This is one of the reasons why travel audiobooks are such a popular genre among Canadian listeners. Not only are they an informative, accessible way to prepare for upcoming trips, they make excellent companions during long flights, train trips, and bus rides.
Travelling can be expensive, though, and the best audiobooks also offer an easy and affordable opportunity for listeners to immerse themselves in narratives about far-away places without ever leaving the comfort of their own homes.
Whether you’re a globetrotter who loves seeing new places or an armchair explorer happy to journey to exotic locales through the narrative of travel audiobooks, the widely popular Audible platform’s extensive travel library is a great place to start planning your next trip.
Audiobooks Help Create a Space for Contemplation and Reflection
Canadians are probably busier and more stressed now than they have been at any point in the past. According to Statistics Canada, nearly one in four Canadians over the age of 15 admits to feeling significant levels of stress every day, and more than one third of Canadians say they are more stressed now than they were five years ago.
These levels of stress can have a very real impact on people’s health and quality of life, so it isn’t surprising that Canadians are looking for ways to make space for contemplation, reflection, and rest. Listening to audiobooks is a great way to do this because it gives people a chance to experience stillness and connect to ideas, stories, and narratives outside of their own daily lives.
Audiobooks Connect People
While paper books can provide a great degree of solace, for most people reading is still a solitary act, something to do on your own. One of the key reasons audiobooks have taken off among Canadians is because they provide an opportunity to experience great writing in the company of others.
Sitting quietly and listening to a travel audiobook gives people an opportunity to feel closer to their friends and family while learning about the world around them, and when the book is done it can provide great fodder for conversations.
Canada has changed a lot in the past fifty years, but as the ongoing popularity of audiobooks attests, one thing that has remained constant is our love of literature.
By fuelling curiosity, opening a space for quiet contemplation, and providing us with a sense of connection with each other, audiobooks have become an essential part of life for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.