Power Tip: Listen While You Read

If you’ve ever found yourself drifting off with a print book or zoning out to your audiobook, this tip is for you!

Have you ever listened to an audiobook while looking at the text you’re listening to? Like listening to a parent read a picture book, this can be ideal for titles that offer great audiobook narration but don’t work well without the print, but it’s also great for folks who have trouble concentrating on just the one format at a time.

Seeing the words while listening to the story can help you help you focus on the material and reduce outside distractions. This is sometimes called “immersion reading” or “immersive reading,” and can be particularly useful for people with ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurodivergences.

Here at the library, using some clever timing of your holds, you can check out both formats to try immersive reading for yourself. One of our librarians likes to use Libby and the “Deliver Later” feature to check out an e-book and an e-audiobook at the same time; you can also include print or books on CD if you like those formats.

Timing Your E-book or E-audiobook with Libby’s “Deliver Later”

When an e-book or e-audiobook is ready for you in Libby, you can select “Manage Hold” or “Deliver Later” to time your e-book or e-audiobook with the other format.

For example, we have two copies of Sons of Darkness on hold, with the e-book on the left and the e-audiobook on the right. Libby estimates that the e-book will be ready in two weeks while the e-audiobook won’t be ready for four weeks. If you go in to “Manage Hold” on the one that is ready in around two weeks, you can “Suspend” or “Delay” the hold for another 21-28 days, and it will be ready at around the same time as the e-audiobook that is ready in four weeks.

I Have Both E-formats—Now What?

If you’re using Libby for both your e-book and your e-audiobook, Libby won’t actually be able to open both versions at the same time—but we have a tip for that, too!

You can either listen on one device and read from another, or if you want to use one device, you can use the “Read With…” option to select Kindle format for the e-book. Then, you open both the Kindle app, which will have your e-book, and the Libby app, which will have your e-audiobook. Hit play on the e-audiobook in Libby, then swap over to the Kindle app to read the text.

Timing Print or Book on CD

Immersive reading can be lovely with an audiobook and a print book too.

If you have a hold on a print book or a book on CD, you can pause your hold through the online catalog. From your holds list, select the blue “Pause hold” button. In this mode, you will still move up the line as other patrons check out the book. Then, when you come back to this page and click the blue button that says “Resume hold,” your book will be ready for you once you’re first in line.

Since physical materials do not return themselves like Libby books do, it’s harder to estimate when a physical item will be ready, but you can use the “Pause hold” button if you know you’re towards the first in line on one format and it will be quite a while for the other.