Let's Talk About It: Audiobooks


I was talking to Nicole of The Quiet Concert on Twitter because I saw she was listening to an audiobook of a book I enjoyed. I was curious about the audiobook because I enjoyed the book, but after talking to her it got me thinking about audiobooks. To put it simply, I am not one for audiobooks. This is because of many reasons....

1. I feel like narrators can greatly hinder your reading experience if they are not picked right. If a narrator is bad or simply average, it can greatly ruin your liking of the audiobook. I could love a book in its written form, but not be a fan of its audiobook because the narrator was not picked right.

2. I don't really have a place to listen to them. Audiobooks are generally associated with listening in the car, but the thing is I don't drive. I kind of hate driving, so if I am driving I have the music on low and I focus on the road with no distractions whatsoever. But I don't drive at all now. I spend all of my time in New York City where we have subways to get you around, and due to the location of my school, I'm never really on a subway long enough for me to actually get into a story between the ten to thirty minutes of travel I have.

3. I tend to zone out a lot. I like music because when I zone out and get lost in my thoughts, I have a background soundtrack but it is not integral that I am listening to it. I feel like if I had an audiobook in, I'll miss half the story and will just have to rewind again!

4. I can't find audiobooks for phones. I know, this is kind of stupid. I've taken to listening to certain podcasts, but because of my roughly hour-long commute in and out of the city during the summer months when I have obligations outside of my home, I tend to blast through podcasts fast and most podcasts, unless told like a story as in the case of Serial, just don't interest me. If I found audiobooks for phones then perhaps I'd be more gung-ho about them and could find one or two to span me a summer of commuting? Is there, like, a library where you can virtually take out audiobooks for phones or something?

5. There's just something about reading words that can never be replaced in my eyes. I don't know what it is, but I love to read words myself in my own voices instead of hearing someone else's interpretations. Audiobooks would really only help me with pronunciations and, perhaps, nailing an accent.

But, I am willing to give audiobooks a chance! So, which ones would you recommend for someone who has never listened to one before and is looking to be impressed so she would perhaps listen to more? Do you like audiobooks, or are you hesitant like I am? Comment below with your thoughts!

26 comments:

  1. I just got an Audible subscription and I listen to books to fall asleep now. You can listen to those on your phone as well. So that's nice. Maybe you should try that, the first month is free and you get a book, and then it's like $14.

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    1. I read to fall asleep, though. It's kind of the same thing?

      Blah. Monies. What is monies? I do not have monies to spend on audiobooks.

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  2. I tend to listen to audiobooks when ever I would listen to music like when I'm getting ready or walking somewhere. You can get audiobooks on Itunes or the Audible app! I know some ebook downloads even include both. I'm currently reading the True Blood books I switched to audio since I haven't had time to sit and read, put the southern accents are fun. It is weird hearing female narrators do male voices especially in romances!

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    1. iTunes! What a great idea!!!! Then I can convince people to buy me gift cards so they pay for the audiobooks for me [:< You are a genius, Dana!

      Hahahaha omg a female narrator doing a male voice in a romance. I probably wouldn't be able to keep a straight face when listening. I could NEVER be an audiobook narrator!

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  3. I've only listened to 5 audiobooks ever (Only two narrators though as the 4 other books are a series) and I've come to realize that I'm very picky with narrators, and my favorites so far are Alisson McLemore and Andi Arndt. I usually like it when the books are told in first person and mostly romances, which makes the narrator tend to really voice act in midst of narration. It's not the boring "Once upon a time..." kind that makes me really sleepy and zone out most of the time, since I have the attention span of a 5 year old, lol. Though, some narrators sound as if they're a 50 year old chainsmoker, even though the character is a 20 year old college student. (Trust me, there are a lot of those in New Adult audiobooks and they are just cringeworthy)

    Speaking of proper places to listen to an audiobook, I just do it in general, like when I'm sitting on my own or doing a little bit of less tedious home chores, lol. I don't do it when I drive though as I get easily distracted.

    I totally agree with your last point about reading words. With the previous audiobooks I listened to, I read the books at the same time. It was kind of slow though, but it was fun going along with the narrator.

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads

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    1. I've never thought about having a favorite narrator the way a person could have a favorite author. I guess some people's voices can simply be calming or alluring or for great storytelling. Great point! But oh boy, I have heard there are many cringe-worthy audios out there.

      Yes! Another distracted driver. I don't know why I feel like everyone uses audiobooks for driving, but I do!

      Oh, I bet that was tedious! Audiobooks are just so long sometimes!

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  4. I am an avid audiobook listener, and I agree that the narrator can make or break a book. A good example would be The Winner's Curse. I honestly feel like I would have enjoyed the book so much more had I read it, because the narrator's voice is gruff and she sounds... horny (for lack of a better word) ANYWAY.

    I always recommend starting with a book you've read already or an author you know you'd like. If you don't mind paying, you can use audible - those are downloaded onto your phone, or overdrive. My library has tons of books to listen to and I just download the app! Hope you find something that is to your taste!

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    1. WHOA that's a crazy description. Some people like rough voices though and I think that's another aspect to it. That voice may have bothered you, but that may be the perfect voice for the book in someone else's eyes. It is all way too subjective.

      Thank you for the suggestions! I shall look into this for sure!

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  5. I'm totally with you on #3. That's the reason I haven't even TRIED audiobooks. I feel like they'll either be hit or miss for me.

    I work out 4-5 times a week, 2-3 of which are at the gym on the treadmill. I feel like audiobooks would theoretically be PERFECT for that. But I'm worried about #3 kicking in. I'm the kind of person who tends to listen to the noise rather than the words, so I feel like I'd miss the whole story!

    I would like to at least give them a try at some point though.

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    1. Listening to the noise rather than the words...YES! Such great wording. That is exactly how I am! Even when I would listen to SERIAL on the train, I'd have to rewind because I zoned, and that was me being engrossed in the story!

      I will at some point, too, I think. Maybe. Hopefully. lol

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  6. I listen to audiobooks of novels that don't require ALL my attention - re-reads (if I want to re-read a book but don't actually want to take the time to read it), romances, light YA. This way, it doesn't really matter if I miss a sentence or two.

    I listen to audiobooks while doing household chores - like vacuuming or washing dishes. It makes the time pass quicker and the chores less odious. If I really like the book I'm listening to, I tend to do more chores :)

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    1. I feel like vacuuming would drown out an audiobook. I am like a cat, I hear a vacuum and I run because NOISE! UGH! lol

      Rereads! Oh gosh, that is such a great idea to attempt an audiobook! That way if I miss anything I can't feel as guilty.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. This is a great post and you some extremelyvalid points!! I am an avid audiobook listener. I travel to visit family in Jersey at least once a week and everywhere I drive in the rural area I live now takes at least 20 minutes to get to so its great to listen during that. I like to work out but honestly if i don't have some kick ass music i tend to slack off but it is great while cleaning my house and cooking too! Now with that being saidl the main issue i have had is with the narrator's. You are right on the nose with that. Some narrators have butchered books I know I would have loved had I not had their voiced engrained into my head, namely The Falconer. RUINED FOR ME! Im listening to the Outlander series on audiobook (cause lets face it that shit is so long its totally cool if you zone out once and while you don't really even miss anything) but that narrator does hands down the most AMAZING JOB EVER!! I use amazon whispersync where i can move between my ebooks and my audible account. Best part is if you own the ebook usually you can buy the audio for really cheap like 3-4$. I hope you do find some that you like. I think just like anything else. a fav narrator is along the lines a favorite author for me. Try the Outlander books if you can. I promise you will like them!! great post miss!
    <3 Britt @ please feed the bookworm

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    1. Bahahah your analysis of the OUTLANDER audiobooks had me laughing. And I am very sorry about THE FALCONER! That is the exact reason that I am scared to try audiobooks for myself.

      Oooohhhh interesting thing about whispersync! I will definitely keep that in mind! Thank you!

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  8. I'm not a big fan of audiobooks, either. They have to have some cool narration style to be worth it, since they're so expensive and, like you, I don't drive (although I do go on some longer road trips). I really like the Princess Academy one - it's full cast - and I want The Winner's Curse one since the narrator uses a Valorian accent. I've heard The Lunar Chronicles audiobooks aren't bad, so I might try those. But I honestly just prefer reading the book myself. It goes way quicker and then I can make sure I'm comprehending everything correctly.

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    1. I desperately want to road trip one day. I feel like it would be awesome! But I also feel like I'd be a terrible road trip partner because of my lack of driving and whatnot.

      Anyway, a full cast audiobook sounds more appealing than a single narrator to me. Does that mean that there's one for each character and a separate draw-you-in-with-my-voice narrator? I love THE LUNAR CHRONICLES in written form which is why I am so scared to try an audiobook. haha

      Yes! Your reasoning for preferring books...I completely agree with it!

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  9. I haven't tried an audiobook since I was 13 years old, I feel it might not be my thing because it would take a while to finish the novel. I do want to give a try by the summer though, I like hearing voices sometimes as well, great post <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. Yes! Aren't the Game of Thrones audiobooks, like, DAYS long?! I could finish a single book in 1 day if I set my mind to it. Audiobook lengths are just so crazy to me. Great point!

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  10. OMG LILI I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO SAY TO THIS :)

    1. THE EXACT OPPOSITE CAN BE TRUE TOO! I know in some cases the narrators absolutely MADE the book and I don't think I would have loved it QUITE as much had I not listened to it. Great examples of this: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, the Diviners, Fangirl, Attachments...

    2. The car IS the place I listen to audiobooks the most but also when I run, cook, fold laundry, get ready, fall asleep, etc. For a good book you will find places to listen haha.

    3. I do this too and have to rewind a fair bit but I feel like I can also zone out while reading so... A good book will keep you from zoning out!

    4. I have never listened to an audiobook NOT on my phone (OK this is a lie if I get a CD from the library but MOST of my audiobooks are on my phone). The library lets you virtually download audiobooks and transfer them to your iPhone using Overdrive!

    5. I agree, although audiobooks ARE great for pronunciation hah

    I am obviously a HUGE audiobook fan so of course I would argue with you on this haha but I do have to admit that some audiobooks are just BORING. The narrator really makes a difference but fortunately you can sample narrators on Audible before you purchase (not sure if the library has this feature but you can also cross check on Audible).

    My recommendations would be any of the books I listed in #1. :D

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    1. Lol I figured you would have a lot to say about htis post!

      Okay, so you bring up a valid point, but I don't think I could ever listen to THE DIVINERS on audiobook without fear of never sleeping again!

      If I am running, I am too busy trying not to die to appreciate a good story.

      Oddly enough, reading is one of the few times I DO NOT zone out unless the book is just plain bad, but otherwise I am at my most focused when reading.

      Overdrive! You are the second person to mention it. I shall look into this for sure!

      Thank you for stopping by! I will definitely keep all of your arguments in mind when I finally decide to sample an audiobook one of these days! Perhaps TFIOS because I've already read it...or Fangirl because I love it so much. hmmmm

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  11. I had a post about this not too long ago!! So interesting hearing your thoughts on audiobooks because I was so against it for so long too with some of the same reasons -- the narrator could totally ruin my reading experience of it, etc. However, i have a longish commute to and from work everyday and after a particularly bad traffic day where I listened to the same song on the radio 12 times, i decided to give it a go. I LOVE IT. my suggestion is to listen to the sample and if you don't like the voice, don't do it. I listened through a lot of samples because I guess I'm picky before choosing one. Secondly, I only listen to audiobooks on my phone. The Overdrive app let's you check out audiobooks from your library and it's SO convenient!

    I was worried about spacing out too but it actually hasn't been too much of a problem. Also, sometimes the narrator makes the book even more enjoyable than if i'd read (while the opposite can be true too). the prisoner of night and fog narrator is amazing and definitely added something extra to the experience! You should try it one day! And since overdrive is free it's a good way to try from your library vs having to pay for audible (although I think audible gives you a free trial).

    -Wendy @ Book Scents

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    1. You're not the first person to mention Overdrive! (Something I never heard of prior to this post. I'll definitely be checking it out!)

      Thank you so much for stopping by with your thoughts!

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  12. Honestly, I can't do it either. I get too distracted! I am like you- zoning out would happen, no question. And I DO like to drive and do it frequently, but the children talk non-stop (even the 1.5 year old, who is basically just spouting gibberish), and I am almost never in the car alone, so that's out. But mainly, reading is my happy place, and I don't think I would like it as much if I were multi-tasking and worried about trying to pay attention. And I don't really want to hear the narrator's inflections and tones, I want to kind of figure it out for myself. Great discussion!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Bahahaha babies are so cute when their mouths are closed ;)

      Reading is my happy place, too. When I'm doing it I want to be able to devote 100% of my attention to it!

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  13. I can't manage to fully listen to audiobooks, too! I tried once, I zoned off, and I had to return to reading the paperback. They make me fall asleep! And I totally agree with how the narrator can affect your perceptions of the story and how it's a totally different experience with seeing the words on the page and imagining the characters and the story yourself. Love this discussion!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! I guess audiobooks simply aren't for either of us ;)

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