Audio Books: A Love Letter

August 26, 2014 Audio Books 37

Greetings Bookworms,

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been talking about audio books more than usual. I decided it was time to get it over with and just profess my undying affection for the audio book. My girl Esther from Macmillan Audio has hooked me up with some sample chapters for your listening pleasure. Now, without further ado. Audio books, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

audio books

1. I can download audio books for free from my library. Because they aren’t as popular as the traditional e-books, I have a wide selection at my finger tips whenever I feel the need for new material. Here’s a little sample of The Fortune Hunter (review).

2. I can listen to audio books on my commute! Ordinarily I listen to NPR in the mornings, but I like to switch it up every once in a while. Audio books may not be as theraputic as belting out “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the car, but one verse of Queen is enough to scratchify my voice anyway. Here’s a tasty morsel of Landline (review).

3. I can listen when I work out. Most of the time when I exercise, I take group fitness classes, because I can’t be trusted to push myself when left to my own devices. However, occasionally, I like to spend some quality time with the treadmill, and audio books are a nice alternative to trashy television. Try this snippet of How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky on for size:

Talk to me Bookworms! Is anybody else out there in love with audio books? Anybody dislike them? I want to hear all the things!

*Special thanks to Esther from Macmillan Audio for providing the sampler of audio books! Oh yes, and if you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*



37 Responses to “Audio Books: A Love Letter”

  1. Quirky Chrissy

    Brian swears by audio books. Which is probably why he reads about 30 times as many books as me (not exaggerating).

    I tried an audio book in the car on a long drive once and I couldn’t do it. My brain can’t listen to a story while focusing on something else. I kept forgetting that I was listening to it and then have missed whole chapters and had to rewind.

    • Charleen

      Yup, this is my problem too. Driving is about the only activity I CAN do while listening (highway driving only, in-town driving would require too much attention) but since I don’t do much of it, it just never comes up. And the one time I did take a longer drive on my own (about three hours round trip) and decided to try an audio book, I was just bummed out by how SLOW it was! Three hours and I barely made a dent in the book!

      If I had no time for reading, I’d make more of an effort for audio books. But at the moment, for me, the pros just don’t outweigh the cons.

  2. Megan M.

    I haven’t really tried them because I just don’t think I would like them. Whenever we listened to a story at school it used to drive me crazy because it was so. much. slower. than I wanted to read the story. Also, if I were listening in the car or while I was exercising (ahahahahahahaha!) then I’m sure my mind would wander and I would miss part of it and have to go back, and that would annoy me. I’m also very attached to singing in the car.

    • Words For Worms

      I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my attention span when it comes to audio books, and since I only listen to them when I’m otherwise engaged. Singing in the car is a good time though, despite my horrendous singing voice.

  3. Darlene @ Lost in Literature

    I definitely cannot listen to them in the car. My mind begins to picture the setting and the characters and before you know it, I’m not seeing the road. It’s bad.

    However, I did listen ALONG as I read the first half of A Tale of Two Cities. It was dramatized and it really helped get me to a place in the book where I could just enjoy reading it alone. I also did that with Gatsby, mostly because it was such a good deal and I wanted to read it fast before I saw the movie.

    So, in my limited experience, I do like to use them for assistance when needed. Not so much just to listen.

      • Darlene @ Lost in Literature

        Well, it probably would.
        My oldest doesn’t like to read and has issues with comprehension. I had TWO reading specialists tell me to offer audio along with the reading, not in place of, and that would help her. I did that for her science text one year, and some other reading, and in that year her scores went up two grade levels.
        So…there you go.

  4. ThatAshGirl

    I wish I could get into Audio Books. It would allow me to read and knit at the SAME TIME. I just cant’ do it. I find myself tuning out and all of a sudden something will catch me and I’ll be all, huh? And have to rewind. And just sitting there not doing anything and listening defeats the purpose. Sucks, because my life would be a lot more productive. I could read all the books and knit all the things!!

      • ThatAshGirl

        I watch tv and knit all the time, because with repetitive patterns I don’t have to actually look at my knitting other than the odd glance. I can knit and sing my way through a Broadway Musical so it’s not the multi-tasking that’s the issue. I think the issue with audio books is as I read, I kinda imagine things as I’m going, what things look like, what people look like, and when it’s spoken I just don’t process it the same way.

  5. AMB

    It sounds like audio books really fit into your lifestyle. I’m pretty sure I’d listen to them if I spent more time in the car. My husband likes audio books (he loves Juliet Stevenson’s voice!) and my daughters listen to audio books at bedtime (which are sometimes so riveting that they have the unintended consequence of keeping my kiddos awake!).

    • Words For Worms

      It’s sort of an acquired skill. I started by listening only on solo road trips and by listening to books I’d already read. I graduated to books I haven’t already read, LOL.

    • ThatAshGirl

      Bad pronunciation would bother me. One of the only audio books I’ve ever listened to it was a woman reading it and she would do this deep tone when reading the dialogue for the main male character and it was SO CHEESY. So cheesy.

    • Words For Worms

      Oh that would be annoying. The one I’m listening to now is a woman with a British accent who keeps saying “et” instead of “ate” and it’s bugging me.

  6. Elizabeth

    I have a 3 minute commute, so no audiobooks there, but when we go on roadtrips I love them! I can’t imagine riding in the car all day *without* an audiobook or two. Artemis Fowl was a favorite because of the narrator’s British accent.

  7. Annabel Smith

    I keep thinking I should try to get into audiobooks. They seem like such a good idea for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. Reasons I haven’t: 1, just generally not getting my shit together, 2. I’m scared the voice of the reader will put me off, 3. I like control over the reading experience ie to read some passages more than once, to stop and underline, to pause for thought etc. My son has been listening to the entire Deltora Quest series and they are brilliant so I know I could be persuaded if I found the right books read by the right people.

  8. Brittny

    My Grandmother was the one who turned me on to audio books, but for some crazy reason I still didn’t really get into them. My husband and I decided to try it out for our road trips now that we’re in Europe though, and I have to say that while I could not get into the Dresden Files reading them, I am now totally hooked that I can listen to James Marsters read them to me! 🙂


  9. Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    I love audiobooks, but I don’t listen to them very often anymore. They were great when the boyfriend and I lived in different cities and had to drive hours to see each other, but now we live together. And I ride my bike to work, and I’ve been swimming laps for my exercise at the gym. I need to find a way to work them back into my routine!

    • Words For Worms

      Awww Leah. Your stories of long distance romance remind me of the time I read my now-husband Harry Potter over the phone just so we could keep talking. Young love. Siiiigh.

    • Words For Worms

      STOP READING MY MIND. Austin Powers popped into my head while I was watering the flowers earlier and then you do this?! Ethel, scary things are happening. I think our minds might be melding.

  10. Shannon @ River City Reading

    I used to listen to audiobooks much more when I had a long commute, but I think I’m down to about 8 minutes now so any time I’m in the car for longer I try to squeeze in my favorite podcasts. I definitely dig some good non-fiction audio, though!

  11. Catherine

    When I had a 45 minute commute audiobooks were the only thing that kept you from seeing me on the six o’clock news in a road rage incident. Now, because I look back on commuting with fondness from my unemployed state I don’t listen much but if I do it’s usually non-fiction. A super one you might like- Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. She’s a chef but writes beautifully as well. It’s memoir and she reads it. great voice.

  12. Megan

    Totally in love. I can’t do housework unless I’m listening to an audiobook. I usually do laundry while listening, garden while listening, drive while listening. I’ve listened to some really great books that I wouldn’t have the time to read. I love filling the mundane things in life with literature. 🙂

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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