To listen or not to listen

Before diving in to this post that has been on my mind for FOREVER I just wanted to apologize for being so absent lately! End of the school year stress + regular life stress + being gone for a bit in California (WHOO!) caused me to read less and blog less. I am so ready to jump back on here though and get this whole schedule thing down (one day…).

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Lately I have really taken to audiobooks. I have about a half hour drive to work each day, which adds up to at least an hour a day in the car. Though I love my music and love singing along in my car I just wasn’t feeling it for a bit. I gave podcasts a try and felt pretty “meh” towards them. I started to feel like I couldn’t fully unwind after a day of work and relax to them.

And then one day I decided to go on Overdrive. And…THEY HAD A BOOK I WANTED TO LISTEN TO!

I was shocked. Typically it takes me forever to find something because I can be so picky, but there it was. I instantly downloaded it, and found myself relaxing and enjoying my drive again.

Audiobooks can be tricky. There are so many amazing things about them, but also so many possibilities of them not working out for you. Some pros and cons that I have noticed….

Audiobook Pros:

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  • You can listen to a book no matter what you are doing! Driving, working out, cleaning the house…super easy to continue to make progress on a book while being productive.
  • It can make your workouts seems like a breeze. Seriously, my workouts felt like way less work because of the audiobook I was listening to.
  • It helps you tackle those reading goals. Looking at you Goodreads. I am super far ahead on my goal this year and it’s because of my combination of physical books and audiobooks.
  • Some books are just meant to be listened to. I have found that I maybe was ok reading the book, but the addition of a narrator just adds so much more. If you want to listen to a book that fits this you should definitely listen to Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Audiobook Cons:

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  • If you don’t pay for an audible subscription (because some of us can’t afford it) then sometime it’s difficult to get what you want.
  • LOOOOONNNG waiting periods on Overdrive. I swear I have been on the waitlist for one particular audiobook for months and there was only 1 person ahead of me.
  • Narrators can make or break a book. Obviously some narrators are fantastic, but there are also those that have voices that just kind of lull me to sleep or make me uninterested in the topic.
  • Some books were meant to be read. I truly think that some books need to be read by the reader and not listened to.

As of right now I am riding that audiobook high. I have been able to reread books and get lost in new worlds, all while driving my car. I also have found that nonfiction really clicks with me more when I can listen to someone reading it instead of reading it myself. Will this high last? Oh I hope so. But with summer coming I will have more time to read physical books, so I can keep my book count for the year going strong.

QUESTION: What are your feelings on audiobooks?

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7 thoughts on “To listen or not to listen

  1. I love them. I listen to audio books all the time. I agree with you on your lists of pros and cons. Narrators make or break books. If they’re not into it you probably won’t be either. Also celebrities/actors don’t always read well. I once listened to a book read by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) and he read in a monotone, and the book was recorded and produced so low you had to have the volume maxed out to hear it. As for other things, I’m a lot more relaxed on drives listening to books. They also keep me more alert at times on the road. Overdrive is great, but that two week waiting period can feel like forever. I’m currently listening to the first Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan. I enjoy his books the most when I listen to them. Same for How to Train Your Dragon, which now that I’m thinking about is read by one of the Doctor Who actors and he’s marvelous. So sometimes celebrities/actors are great fits. As for getting more audio books lots of authors are probably sitting on audible credits looking for listeners. Doesn’t hurt to ask!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I never thought to ask about audible credits. Thanks for that idea. I would agree, some celebrities aren’t the best readers. I have listened to a few celebrities read their own books (like Tina Fey) and adored it, but otherwise it can be tough. I imagine it’s not an easy task to do…read an audiobook. Acting is probably slightly easier if you really think about it, ha. Thanks for commenting and stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I agree that it’s tough to do it right and so easy to do wrong. That’s why I hired a brilliant narrator for my books. She can do all the voices so fluidly and really act in scenes so you’re right there with the characters. 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Wideman

    I like all versions of “reading” whether it is physical paper books, e-book/reader format, or audio. For me the whole point of the experience is to enjoy the story. As long as the medium facilitates that then I am on board. Enhanced audio books with a good narrator, and occasionally additional readers are a nice treat from time to time. The best ones are narrators that can do good alternate voices so you can start to ID characters (and their personalities) from the voice alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love when authors are good at doing alternate voices. Many of the audiobooks that I lose interest in are because they aren’t the best and it and I get confused as to who is talking. I love when they can get a cast (like World War Z), but know it’s not always possible or even necessary.

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  3. I don’t do audiobooks very often. I’m SUPER picky about narrators, but I wouldn’t mind finding a few more that interest me. I have roughly an hour’s drive each way to work this summer and, while I don’t always want anything playing in traffic, it might make the trip at least feel more productive.

    Have you checked out http://www.audiobooksync.com/? They do free audiobooks each summer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I have not heard of that and will definitely have to check it out. Thanks!

      I think the more I have listened the lesd picky I get about authors. Obviously still a bit particular about them, but my standards have changed. They definitely make drives feel productive and relax me a bit more than music sometimes.

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