Yay or Nay: Audiobooks

Audiobooks are popping up all over the place. More people are “reading” audiobooks these days and more books are being recorded. Now it’s not only the special few that can be popped into the cd-player, more and more recent books are being released as an audiobook as well. There are platforms such as Audible to buy the digital audiobooks making the process a lot more easy. But how do we feel about them? Here’s what I think, and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments!

Yay

Multitasking: It’s great, you can read while doing other things now. Do you get carsick if you read while moving? It’s no longer a problem because you can just listen to your book. You are doing boring chores around the house? Don’t worry, brighten them up with that hobby you love so much. I really do think it’s a lovely way to combine reading with something else. Personally I use this a lot while quilting, I do it by hand so there’s no machine making a lot of noise (and therefore interfering with the audiobook) so it’s a match made in heaven.

Severe dyslexia is a problem of the past: I personally don’t suffer from reading problems, but I’m guessing this clears that issue right up. You no longer have to struggle through every page to experience beautiful stories. Someone is reading it to you and this is a great way to enjoy the story without all the hassle. This can also be a great solution for people with poor vision or even those who are blind (yes Braille is an option, this is just a different one).

Experiencing a book differently: Listening to a book being read to you has a different feeling than when you are reading it yourself. So audiobooks really do give the whole book a different dimension, especially if the person who is reading the book does different voices for all of the characters.

Nay

Multitasking: I know I already put this on the positive side of the balance as well, but it really can become a negative part of listening to audiobooks as well. Sometimes you combine it with the wrong things and you cannot give enough attention to either task. This makes you miss out on a part of the book or makes the other task at hand badly executed. I can see how listening to an audiobook while driving might be very handy, especially on long drives, but if there is a tough traffic situation at hand I might just block out the audiobook for a while and have missed some key points in the story. Or it’s possible to get so distracted by the book that you aren’t paying enough attention to the traffic around you. So multitasking can be great with audiobooks, but I would advise some caution though.

The reader’s voice: Normally when you read you pay attention to the writing style, the story, the characters. But when listening to the audiobook a new level is added to that, and that is the voice of whoever is reading the story to you. You might like a book less because you didn’t like the style or the voice of the reader. This can taint your experience of the book in a positive or a negative way. Let’s just hope they picked a good reader for that book that everyone has been loving, right?

Remembering the story: I have to say that this was a problem for me, especially when listening to a book I haven’t read before (as opposed to the Harry Potter audiobooks where it doesn’t matter If I miss something). Sometimes I had a hard time getting back into the story because I had forgotten what was happening last time I was listening to the audiobook. And it’s a lot harder to leaf back to get an overview of events on an audiobook (no skim-reading possible!).

So what are your thoughts on audiobooks? Have you tried them or are you hesitant to give them a go? Are there some pro’s or cons that I missed here? What are your experiences with audiobooks?

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11 thoughts on “Yay or Nay: Audiobooks

  1. I LOVE audiobooks. I have a short commute to work but I still listen to books. I have found my road rage has diminished since I stopped listening to world news or crappy music in the car. I also find that I walk the dogs much longer when I take an audiobook with me. I have also discovered that I really enjoyed listening to certain books that I just couldn’t read. For example, I totally struggled with and failed to read The Book Thief, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Jellicoe Road. Listening was a completely different experience that allowed me to fall in love with these stories. I have also come to be very attached to certain readers and now only listen to certain series. I love Katherine Kellgran’s Bloody Jacky readings and Jayne Entwistle as Falvia de Luce. Ok, done rambling! Off to use my eyes and read a books!

    • It’s true that due to it being a completely different format can make you (dis)like books less or more than when you actually read it. I’ll definitely give it a try when I get to a book that just doesn’t capture my attention enough when it’s written. Who knows, perhaps I’ll fall in love with it ;)

  2. I like the idea of audiobooks but it never works out well for me. I’ve listened to a few while driving but found I totally tuned it out when in high stress driving situations. I’m also really, really picky about the narrators voice. If I’m going to listen to a book for 10+ hours I have to love their voice.

    • I am totally the same way, I just tend to zone out from time to time, especially when I’m trying to multitask (I just have certain moments when the other task requires more attention) and I just end up missing certain parts of the story and having a hard time catching up!

  3. I love audiobooks but I admit that my favorites are ones where I read the print book first, so I already knew I liked the story. I’ve been taking more risks lately and getting books I haven’t physically read first, and so far it’s worked out okay, but one clunker and I’m sure I’ll be back to my old tricks.

    • I would so not be able to do what you do. Especially when I’m typing or reading something else I would just tune out the sound a little. That’s not a huge problem when listening to music, but with audiobooks this gets a lot trickier! But it’s definitely a great way to steal some time back for reading!

  4. I’m in the YAY camp. I can zone out – but that means the book isn’t holding my attention, and I would have skimmed the pages while reading. I haven’t really encountered any books I hated on audio but would have loved in print (if I think that’s the case – I switch), but there are plenty of books I would probably not finished in print, but did finish because it was on audio.

    Someone asked for recommendations – so here are a few. FOr YA – The Maze Runner or Pure. For adult, Neverwhere (fantasy) and The Help (historical fiction).

  5. Pingback: February Wrap Up | Lose Time ReadingLose Time Reading

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