Sunday 16 July 2017

Audiobooks: To Listen Or Not To Listen...

That is the question isn't it?
So many people seem to be a fan these days.
But I don't think I am.
I want to be a fan of audiobooks. I can see so many advantages of listening to audiobooks, namely maximising my time in a way that enables me to read more books, but whenever I tried in the past, I just couldn't do it. 

My main issue is that I know I will get distracted and miss what the narrator is saying and that'd be infuriating. 
The only way I imagine I'd be able to focus would be sitting down quietly and listening and if I'm going to do that I might as well just read the book for myself.

I think that if I already know the story, inside and out, I would be okay with an audiobook but what's the point in that? I enjoy re-reads of old favourites but I'm not going to buy them in a completely different format, or pay a monthly subscription, for a re-read.

Other issues I had in the past were the narrator's voice - tone, accent, pronunciation - irritating the crap out of me. 
I also had issues with the pace they read the story at. I'm a fast reader, my brain works quickly, I cannot stand listening to a chapter for half an hour when I could have read it in half that time.

However, past issues aside, I want to make audiobooks work for me. 

Some people have said that they find them useful in the car. I've never tried them in the car and I think that could work... It shouldn't be all that different than listening to a conversation or music which I can do without getting distracted and crashing the vehicle.

Some people have said that they like to listen when doing the ironing. I can see that being cool too... It's a better use of several hours a week than just doing chores! If I can combine the evil ironing with 'reading' I'll be a very happy lady. 

Some have commented that they like listening to their audiobooks when up in the night with their newborns. I don't have a newborn but I'll bear that in mind should it ever become applicable!

A particular reason I have for wanting to give audiobooks another try is eyestrain. I spend most of my workday on a computer. I come home and I end up on a computer. If I'm not on a computer, I'm reading my kindle. My poor eyes take a battering and I quite like the idea of being able to give them a rest and still keep up with my reading. 

I have no idea if I'll be able to make audiobooks work for me. I have no idea if I'll be able to overcome past issues but I've decided it's time to try. Audiobooks have come a long way in the past six or seven years. So, I'm going to sign up for audible and keep the subscription for three months. In that three months I will experiment with all the occasions I can listen to books and with luck I will find a place in my life for them but if it doesn't work for me then no harm, no foul. I won't have lost anything except for a couple of months of subscription fees. 


Do you listen to audiobooks?  If so, when/where do you listen to them?



  1. I have tried audiobooks and found I had the same problems as you did. BUT, I finally read my first successful one just a few weeks ago, when I was driving from PA to Michigan- a lovely 10 hour ride. And I finished First & Then by Emma Mills, but I was also a VERY captive audience. I think for me, I would be able to do it again on a long car ride, but other than that, I think I have accepted that they won't generally work for me. I hope the subscription ends up working out well for you!!

  2. So far I have managed a few chapters while ironing but I'm still far from convinced! lol

  3. I only listen when I'm cleaning or walking the neighborhood by myself. Completely mindless tasks so listening to something works.

    Narrator plays a HUGE part. Some are seriously awful and make it miserable. Others are amazing and really bring a book to life. You can also speed up the pace of the audiobook. I rarely listen to the default of 1.0. Usually I move up to 1.25 and it works better for me.

    The library is a great source for audiobooks. I borrow most of mine and have done re-reads that way, too. Handy and free. I did audible for a little while but really the library is my go to for audios.

    Narrators I like are Lorelei King, Scott Brick, Hilary Huber, Moira Quick, Jeffery Cummings, Penelope Keith. Sophie Eastlake is pretty good as well but takes a bit of getting used to.

    1. Thanks for the tips Anna. I need to check out what the library has to offer. So far I'm still underwhelmed but I'm hoping that will change!


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