The country has been turned upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic, with everyone being forced into lockdown meaning they are unable to leave their houses unless it is ‘essential’.
In addition to this, lots of people have been furloughed, as the companies they work for are unable to remain open, which means they are stuck at home with little to do.
With so much time on their hands, many have turned to audiobooks, as this enables them to fill the hours in the day as well as distract themselves from the crisis happening outside of their own bubble.
As a result, Audible and Apple have released free audiobooks and e-books for the public, so they have something to do other than watch TV and be tempted to go outside where they could put themselves at risk.
A spokesperson from Audible was reported by Stylist as saying: “[We recognise] that people are at home, in many cases with children home from school, and that stories have the power to entertain, teach and to keep minds active, alert, and engaged.”
Several famous stars have lent their voices to these books, giving listeners the opportunity to hear their favourite actors and actresses read the stories, whereas they might have missed out had they not used audiobooks to fill their time during lockdown.
Indeed, movie fans will be familiar with Rosamund Pike’s voice on William Boyd’s Restless.
The actress used a voice over company to tell the story of a mother and daughter relationship during the Cold War.
Another Hollywood actress has lent her voice to a very well-known story. Rachel McAdams, most famous for her roles in Mean Girls and The Notebook, reads Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
“Rachel McAdams … delivers a spectacular reading of Montgomery’s beloved bildungsroman. In moments both funny and bittersweet, McAdams’ voice is imbued with the spark that has made Anne a much-loved symbol of individualism and cheer for over a century. In this story of ‘kindred spirits’, McAdams’ touching and heartfelt narration proves she is just that – bonded on a deep level to this shimmering classic,” a summary for the book stated.
Lots of parents will also be relieved to hear there are plenty of audiobooks available for their youngsters at the moment too. While they are trying to work around their youngsters’ home-schooling and childcare, putting on an audiobook they can listen to, engage with and learn from could be the ideal solution.
Depending on the age of the child, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, read by Sheridan Smith, could be a big hit, while any of the Harry Potter series will pique the interest of older kids.
Mums and dads will recognise the voice behind Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile, as it is recited by legendary British actor Stephen Fry, while David Walliams’ The World’s Worst Teachers, as told by himself, will certainly make youngsters giggle.