Thursday, February 27, 2014

Talk About It Thursday (#4): Audiobooks

Every other Thursday (probably; this one is the most subject to change) I will make a post that's meant to bring about some conversation, discussion, and perhaps even a debate. This can be about a book, movie, artist/album, or anything!

Ahhh, audiobooks...

A few months ago, I signed up for a blog tour for an audiobook. I thought I'd enjoy it. After all, people seem to generally really like listening to audiobooks. They seem to think it's helpful when they're multitasking. So I thought I'd give it a try again (I had listened to a couple of audiobooks when I was younger). *sigh* I wish I hadn't. Not only did I have to pull out of the tour, but I learned why audiobooks don't work for me.

Firstly, there's the issue with attention span. Generally, I'm pretty good at paying attention. But I just can't do it with audiobooks. I'll zone out and have to go back again. And again. And again. I can't listen to audiobooks while doing anything else because I'll forget about it. It'll become background noise. I can't concentrate on what's going on, so I don't take in or comprehend anything. It doesn't work for me because I'd have to stop everything and focus intently on the audio. If that's the case, I'd just prefer reading a physical book. I could probably finish the book faster too.

My other issue is with the pace and narrator. So many audiobooks have narrators that really don't work for me for a variety of reasons. I tried listening to an audiobook on a car ride. Probably not the best idea because I need to sleep in the car, but anyway. The narrator's voice was so flat and monotone. Not good at all, at least for me. Then there's the problem of pacing. So many times, I'd read faster than the narrator. As I mentioned above, I could probably finish the book faster. This is the reason I hate when we have to read out loud in class or when we do popcorn reading. I'm so sorry to some of my classmates, but PLEASE read faster. I'm already skipping ahead. At my school, when reading Shakespeare, we generally listen to a recording and follow along. But there are so many times when I'll want to skip ahead. No such luck.

In the end, it's just personal preference. Audiobooks don't work for me at all. Maybe some day it will, but for now, I'm stuck with just books, physical or electronic. Sure, I'd like to be able to read audiobooks, but I'm also okay with not being able to listen to them.

What do you think? Do you listen to audiobooks? Do you have similar issues or does it not bother you? If you listen to audiobooks and used to have similar issues, what's changed?


  1. I love listening to audiobooks. They're GREAT for long car trips! That way I'm not constantly changing the songs on my ipod, etc. I also love listening to audiobooks while I'm at work..though when I'm at work I only listen to audio of books I've already read because if I get distracted and a miss a part..I already know what happened hahah.. It just helps me focus on what I'm doing at work and not get distracted by the people that come and go around me at work. ;)

    I've only bought one audiobook where I wanted to strangle someone cuz the narrator is bad. It made me wish I had listened to the sample audible had on their site. The person who narrates the audio for The Proposition series by Katie Ashley sounds exactly like a robot. I MEAN it's like listening to Siri read you a book and it got annoying really fast..
    But for the most part all the narrators for the audiobooks I've listened to have been pretty good. I love it because usually they'll act out the characters with different voices and what not..

    The one book series I've listened to in it's entirety on audiobook is the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich.. Those books are hilarious in their own right..but if you listen to the narrator (there were a couple of different ones, seeing as there's been 20 books in that series so far..) She does an amazing job with the voices, characters and what not..and it just makes them more funny.

    I wouldn't give up on audiobooks just yet! haha ;D

    1. Yeah, they don't work for me on long car trips because I get car sick and thus resort to sleeping in the car. :P That's a good idea though--listening to books I've already read rather than new ones.

      That's fun! I sometimes listen to audio recordings when reading Shakespeare in class, and that helps a lot.

      Maybe I'll have to give it a go sometime in the future.

      I will definitely continue to try them out sporadically. :D

      Thanks for the lovely comment!

  2. Audiobooks are the equivalent of hell for me. I deep, deep hatred of them. I first listened to them when I was younger and loved listening to Jane Eyre and Artemis Fowl, but when I listened to books when I was older I found they were often read by American voices and while I have no problem with the accents in TV Shows (in fact I don't even notice it) with audiobooks they seem to be very pronounced accents and I can't concentrate on anything else.

    However that doesn't explain why I hate them so much so I'll get onto to that. I met my partner online and to cut a long story short he now lives in Yorkshire with me but his mother lives in Somerset - about 6 hour car ride away. She likes us to go down and visit and then will drive us back up and stay for a few days. However, she likes audiobooks. Not just that, she likes to put her audiobooks on so loud, that people in the next lane with their windows shut could probably hear it so I have no way of blocking out the sound with music. I absolutely hate the audiobooks she forces us to listen to, especially when I can hear nothing else. The last one we listened to was Nine Inches ( which was just horrendously written. So yes... I think audiobooks have traumatised me...

    ★ Under The Mountain ★

    1. Ahhh, I totally understand. I'm American so it's not the accent that bothers me, but I can see how it might.

      Eughh. That sounds terrible! I can see why you hate audiobooks so much now!


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