How Stephen Fry Used Audio Books To Lose Weight

Author, performer technology enthusiast and Twitter guru Steven Fry doesn't just use technology to enhance his working life — he's also taken up listening to audio books as a means of losing weight.

Fry, who is giving public talks in Sydney and Melbourne during his latest Australian visit, touched on a number of technology topics in his first appearance at the Opera House which I've written up over at Gizmodo. When asked by interviewer Jennifer Byrne how he had lost nearly six stone, he attributed it to an increase in walking and the increase in walking to using talking books:

I discovered the brilliance of talking books, audio books. Just make a list of all the novels you've ever wanted to read . . . It could be James Bond or a romantic fantasy — it doesn't have to be great literature. It could be an autobiography. But you stick it in your ears and you start walking and you just run up the miles, you cannot stop, you've to get to the end of a chapter. And instead of taking a cab . . . you will be walking, and the pounds are shed — or, what do you call them, kilos.

Fry himself is a noted narrator of audio books (most famously with the Harry Potter series), but clearly that doesn't detract from his pleasure in the experience. What are your favourite ways to use technology to help you exercise? Tell us in the comments.


    he does harry potter books holy crap, that would be brilliantly read.

      Yeah, it is awesome. I have them. Get them - he does a really really really enjoyable version of them. My boyfriend doesn't have time to read and doesn't do books on public transport, but audiobooks worked and so he got to listen/read the books for the first time ever as compared to the movies. Now he understands why I prefer the movies!

    I've listened to all the Harry Potter audio books.
    Back when i was doing night fill there was nothing better than an audio book while stacking shelves.
    SF does a great job of the books.

    they are also great for long trips in the car, when my wife and i go for long trips down south having an audio book on is brilliant.

    i do like the walking idea, it would definitely work, especially if your a person who would read each day normally, itd be a big time saver.

    Fry narrates his own autobiography up there too, which makes it even more poignant. His Harry Potter reads are excellent and provide a more mature feel than the American production, read by Jim Dale. Nothing against Dale, mind, but his style is more cartoonish than Fry's.

    I have an audiobook running whenever I'm by myself and not doing something that requires me to follow someone else's words (so not listening whilst trying to write or follow directions). You'd be amazed at how much of a book you can suck down in a day: morning commute, evening commute, lunch, 40km bike ride... it all adds up.

    Fair warning though: an audiobook whilst exercising may affect how hard you push. If the reader is good and the writer has given a stirring speech to a character you love, you WILL push harder. If you get to a point in the story that makes you sad, you won't push as hard.

    Audiobooks are AWESOME. :D

      Jim Dale? The Aussie??

        I think you mean Alan Dale. He played Jim Robinson in Neighbours where I think your confusion is coming in.

    wouldn't be too difficult for him to walk & read as he does as he's manic. He just wouldn't be able to help himself!! Theres no stopping him.

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