Are audiobooks replacing traditional books?

Audiobook sales are on the rise, skyrocketing by a noteworthy 43% last year. Keeping a few great audiobooks in your collection is a great travel hack, as they can work to either keep you entertained on long journeys or also, if you’re listening to anything narrated by the soothing sounds of Stephen Fry, help you drift off!

We continue our Caxton Recommends series with our top 5 audiobooks to travel with; from shorter, comedic stories to record-breaking, lengthy tales.

You can buy any of the audiobooks mentioned in this article at these outlets: Audible,, and Playster.


Unthinkable - An Extraordinary Journey Through the World's Strangest Brains by Helen Thomson

Listening time: 7 hours and 19 minutes

Science journalist Helen Thomson has always been fascinated by the human brain. One of the key influencers throughout her studies is neurologist Oliver Sacks, as she was particularly fascinated by his exploration of the brain’s quirks. Thomson, like Sacks, is drawn to people with rare brain disorders and devotes her work to exploring the effect it has on people’s lives. In her book, Thomson introduces her audience to nine extraordinary individuals, all who have experienced the ‘unthinkable.’ Flicking from the man who believed he was dead for three years, to someone who is convinced that he is a tiger - this book is packed with raw, real-life stories and entertaining trivia about the human brain. 


'A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire' by George R.R. Martin

Listening time:

Book 1: 33 hours and 45 minutes

Book 2: 47 hours and 32 minutes

Book 3: 37 hours and 12 minutes

Book 4: 33 hours and 50 minutes

Book 5: 48 hours and 53 minutes

= 200.32 hours. That should keep you occupied!

The HBO Game of Thrones series has dominated popular culture for the last eight years, coming to an abrupt conclusion earlier this year. If you’re missing Game of Thrones and looking for a hearty fix, the audiobook series of books 1-5 will definitely keep you entertained for the long term, with a culminated listening time of over 200 hours! Interestingly, the first book in the audio series broke world records, as actor Roy Dotrice had to voice a whopping 224 characters in this book alone. Heading off on a long journey? This audiobook series will be a great travel companion.


Twas the nightmare before Christmas by Adam Kay

Listening time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

This audiobook follows on from the success of Adam Kay’s debut best-selling novel, This Is Going to Hurt. Kay is a former junior doctor, who gave up his career in the medical profession in 2010. Both hilarious memoires derive from the diary entries that he kept whilst as a junior doctor, with this particular audiobook reminiscing on the six festive periods he spent on the hospital ward. Kay’s work marries the hilarious and horrifying – showing what really goes on behind the blue curtains at Christmas time. If you’re looking for a quick, humorous pick-me-up whilst you are travelling, this would be a great choice.


Sapiens: A brief history of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Listening time: 15 hrs and 18 minutes

Do you find yourself asking questions such as: who are we, how did we get here and where are we going? If you’re someone that needs brain food whilst travelling, Harari’s Sapiens would be a great addition to your digital library. This audiobook takes its listener on a journey that explores humankind’s extraordinary history, from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. Listen to how humans have evolved from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age, concluding on where Dr. Harari thinks our species will be heading next.


His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Listening time:

Book 1: 10 hours and 45 minutes

Book 2: 8 hours and 54 minutes

Book 3: 2 hours and 26 minutes

Audiobooks can also make a great travel companion for the whole family, keeping kids and adults entertained on longer car journeys! One particular audiobook that appeals to all ages is the award-winning trilogy by Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials. This is a beautiful fantasy series following the journey of a fierce, orphaned child, Lyla Belacqua, jumping in between multiple realities, including our own. This trilogy has captivated audiences of all ages for the past twenty years – get your family involved in the magic today.


If you’re heading away on a family holiday, or even prepping for a short work trip, plug in an audiobook to educate and entertain you! If you’re more of a Podcast user, or even looking for some advice on which Travel apps to use abroad, check out our Travel Smarter blog for all Caxton’s recommendations. And always remember to organise your travel money ahead of your trip and top up your Caxton multi-currency card!