Libro.fm’s 2022 Audiobook Listening Challenge

Hey all! For those who don’t know, audiobooks are the primary format through which I read. It’s an ADHD thing. Weirdly, I also prefer subtitles when I’m watching things. *shrug*

Though I still have to use Audible for some things (stupid Audible exclusives), the majority of my books come from the library (via Libby/Overdrive) or from Libro.fm. Libro.fm is a great alternative to Audible. Where Audible supports Amazon, Libro.fm supports independent bookstores. Libro.fm also has a variety of referral and partnership programs. Anyone with an account can benefit from referrals; if people sign up for a membership with your link, you then get a free credit. If anyone wants to sign up, feel free to use my referral link. : )

Libro.fm also has a program called the ALC, or Audiobook Listening Copy, program. The ALC program is available for booksellers, librarians, reviewers, educators, and influencers. Through the program, Libro.fm provides a selection of complementary audiobooks each month. For more information or to sign up, check out their website. I’m lucky enough to be a part of their librarian ALC program, which has been really lovely and helpful. There is also an affiliate program that I’m not a part of, but you can learn more about it here.

To be clear, this isn’t a sponsored post. I just love Libro.fm and wanted to give y’all all the information on it before I get into their 2022 reading challenge. Through their blog, Libro.fm has compiled a list of 24 challenges for their users to undertake throughout the year. It reminds me a lot of their 2021 Summer Reading Challenges, though unlike last year’s summer challenge there doesn’t appear to be a reward for completing the list. I’m okay with that and I’m still excited to work through the list.

Below are the challenges with a couple I’ve already completed and some ideas I have for how I’ll complete others. My personal rules are that everything I read for these challenges has to be fully via audiobook (seems reasonable, since it’s an audiobook challenge), and I don’t want to double up on any of the challenges since I have a year to complete them.

A graphic with all 24 challenges. Text for challenges follows.
  • Listen to a bookseller-recommended audiobook
    • Libro.fm has whole bunch of Bookseller Picks. I’m fairly confident something I read this year will show up on this list. From the first page, I was planning to read (Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro) or reread (The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune) some of these books this year anyway.
  • Listen to a new-release audiobook in the first week of its debut
    • I’m not at all good at this. There’s a few books coming out this year I’m excited about, but getting them from the library the same week they come out is pretty difficult. Maybe this will be the year I preorder some audiobooks? We’ll see.
      (Update, I just realized I can use the ALC program for this challenge. I’m all over this.)
  • Listen to an audiobook by an LGBTQIA+ author
    • Will all the queer #ownvoices things I read, I don’t anticipate having trouble with this.
  • Listen to at least ten minutes of an audiobook every day for a month
    • This one will be difficult. I’m going to try it in February since there’s not as many days. I actually tried in January for a StoryGraph challenge, and I made it six days. I don’t think the “read every day” model is for me, since I’ve been trying to pay attention to how I want to spend my time and I tend to enjoy things for a few days at a time. I’ll marathon podcasts or YouTube videos for a while before I feel like reading again. All that said, I’ll give it a go. It’s just 10 minutes a day… that’s doable, right?
  • Listen to a new (to you) genre
    • I’m not sure what I’m going to do for this. I feel like there’s not a lot of genres I don’t already listen to, at least occasionally. I guess nonfiction is what I read the least so that’s what I’ll use. Maybe I’ll poke around in my StoryGraph stats and see if there’s anything more specific I can use here.
  • Listen to an audiobook by an author with a disability
    • A really easy one I can use for this is author Talia Hibbert. I’m pretty well guaranteed to reread a book of hers each year. Hopefully Talia Hibbert won’t be the only disabled author I read from this year, though. There isn’t anyone coming to mind immediately, so some research may be in order.
  • Choose an audiobook solely based on a narrator you enjoy
    • I have never done this, so it will be an experience. There are some narrators I do enjoy (e.g., January LaVoy, Abby Craden), so I’ll poke around and see if anything of theirs catches my eye.
  • Explore alternatives to Amazon’s Goodreads, like The StoryGraph or Readerly
    • I’ve already decided to use StoryGraph instead of Goodreads this year, so I can check this one off.
  • Listen to an audiobook by an Indigenous author
    • There are a few books on my TBR by Indigenous authors that will work for this, like The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Elatsoe by Darcy Little Badger, and The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson.
  • Pre-order an anticipated audiobook
    • As I said earlier, I don’t tend to preorder things. If I buy a book, it’s usually because I’ve already read and enjoyed it. Maybe if I get into ARCs? Since NetGalley is doing audio ARCs on occasion, that’s actually a possibility. (Libro.fm also has their ALCs, but I can’t preorder it from Libro.fm if I get it as a complementary audiobook.)
  • Redeem your monthly Libro.fm credit the same month you get it
    • So here’s the thing… we paused our Libro.fm membership a few months ago because we’re trying to save some money and because we had a few credits built up. Since both my wife and I read audiobooks pretty voraciously, it would be reasonable for us to restart our membership once we use up our backlog of credits, but that’s something we’ll have to discuss. This challenge may end up being a wash for me, and if we decide to continue taking a break from subscriptions then that’s okay.
  • Listen to an audiobook by an AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) author
    • A book that works for this challenge and is on my January TBR is Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. Some other books by AAPI authors that are on my TBR are Wisdom From a Humble Jellyfish by Rani Shah, Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar, and The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang.
  • Send an appreciative note to your favorite bookstore
    • I do not presently have a favorite bookstore and I kinda suck at appreciative notes. Maybe I’ll find a bookstore with a good social media presence and if I like them I’ll send a DM.
  • Try a new listening speed
    • This is going to be weird because my regular listening speeds vary from 1.5x to 2.5x, depending on the narrator and how familiar I am with the book. I feel like a “new” speed will have to be 1.25x or 0.75x (since I listen to all my podcasts on 1.0x, would that count as new?). I am working on some language acquisition, so maybe I’ll find a particularly short book in one of those languages and read it really slowly.
  • Listen to an audiobook by a Latinx author
    • It might be because I’m tired and forgetful, but there aren’t a lot of Latinx authors on my TBR coming to mind, which feels like something I need to fix. I’ve got Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas on my TBR and I’m tentatively interested in rereading Cemetery Boys by him as well. I could also be down for rereading some of Elizabeth Acevedo’s work. Otherwise, I think I’ll be reading some book lists and watching some recommendation videos to add some Latinx authors to my TBR.
  • Recommend an audiobook on social media and tag @librofm
    • I guess keep an eye on my Instagram and/or Twitter for this?
  • Listen to an audiobook with a full cast of narrators
    • I’m a pretty big fan of full-cast audiobooks. Some of my favorites I’ve been considering rereading are The Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce and Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
  • Listen to an audiobook by an Arab author
    • I don’t think I’ve ever seen this presented as a reading challenge, and I’m really glad to see it now. Some things from my TBR that will work for this challenge are We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal and Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud (yes, I read Mirage an age ago; yes, I suck at sequels), and I’ve considered rereading Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi recently.
      (I would love to add Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi as an option for this prompt, but it still doesn’t have an audiobook. DX)
  • Refer a friend or family member to Libro.fm
    • Since I tell my friends and coworkers about Libro.fm at every available opportunity, hopefully this won’t be too difficult.
  • Listen to an audiobook published more than 5 years ago
    • Will all the rereading I do, this will hopefully also be relatively easy to complete. (Technically Fair Game would work for this, but I’ve already used it for another prompt, which I’ll talk about a little further down.)
  • Listen to an audiobook by a Black author
    • I’m pretty confident I’ll complete this challenge early in the year. A few of my favorite and most reread books are by Black authors, like Talia Hibbert, Alyssa Cole, and Beverly Jenkins. I’ve also got When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole and Clap Back by Nalo Hopkinson on my January TBR.
  • Listen to an audiobook narrated by the author
    • I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, but most of the nonfiction I do read is narrated by the author. Two examples that are on my Buzzwordathon TBR are Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski and How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived by Leslie Jordan.
  • Finish an entire audiobook in one weekend (or one day)
    • I’ve actually already completed this one! The other day I reread Fair Game by Patricia Briggs, and I did so over the course of a single work day. Since I tend to read books pretty quickly, I imagine I’ll complete this challenge many times over the course of the year.
  • Gift an audiobook or Libro.fm gift membership
    • Considering how important audiobooks are to my life, I haven’t gifted very many of them. This prompt will be a good excuse for me to think about audiobooks as gifts more often this year.

If you want to do this challenge, definitely check out Libro.fm’s blog post. They have a whole bunch of lists, quizzes, and other resources linked.

Author: SeeOwlRead

They/She. I’m a queer reviewer and librarian.

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