Greetings everyone! Random post time. The DNF post went so wonderfully and I’m hoping this post will have some success as well! This week I’m going to dive into a topic I’ve been developing a growing enthusiasm for- audiobooks.
- Audiobooks I’ve Tried
- Audiobook Pros & Cons
- Sources for Audiobooks
- Lets Talk!
1.) Audiobooks I’ve Tried
The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi and voiced by Kate Simses.
I already gushed about this in my Shatter Me book series reviews but just to reiterate- I LOVE Kate Simses work on this series. So much so that I wonder if I would like the Shatter Me series as much if I had read it instead. Her inflections and emotion and witty delivery made every line hit just right. I’ve since read reviews and think pieces of people complaining about certain writing quirks present in Shatter Me, I recall none of those issues. Probably since I’d listened to the audiobook and processed all that info so differently. To my understanding the narrator hasn’t worked on many other YA or adult series, but I will basically instant-listen to anything she does in the future.
Sadie by Courtney Summers is a fabulous audiobook and honestly, I don’t think it should ideally be read in a traditional novel format. Maybe that’s a strong statement but Sadie is modeled after a true crime podcast format, and the audiobook was a herculean effort to bring together a lot of convincing actors. As someone who has listened to some true crime radio shows before (Dear John on Spotify is a good one) this audiobook is astonishingly realistic.
I’ve also listened to these in the past 12 months-
The Swift by Ricky Dragoni
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens (partway, and read the rest.)
2.) Now for a simple pros and cons of my experience with audiobooks.
- Audiobooks can really enhance dialogue-heavy novels. As long as the book is being narrated well, the inflections can really assist in making jokes funnier or dramatic moments more emotionally compelling.
- Convenience factor. You can multi-task while listening, though for me this often didn’t work out. I’d end up automatically tuning out the audiobook and missing many parts. (More about that in the cons list.) But I noticed that once you’ve been listening for a long time and feel more comfortable, multitasking gets easier.
- Learning pronunciation that you might not be familiar with.
- I’ve heard of this neat little bookworm hack before from multiple sources. Not a guaranteed thing but listening to an audiobook WHILE reading the physical book can not only increase immersion, but help in conquering a stubborn reading slump. I think it’s worth trying but your mileage may vary!
- The zoning out thing is no joke. So I have ADD, which makes many things harder. But it definitely makes listening to audiobooks and paying attention over long stretches much harder than it should be. From what I’ve heard, people without ADD who are new to audiobooks struggle just as much. It can become background noise very easily when you’re new and your brain goes into tune-out mode after a while. Listening in short bursts is best- at least at first.
- They’re too long. I listen to books at 1.2x or even 1.5x speed and I’ve heard that people who are really into audiobooks can pick up everything at 2x speed or even 3x speed. Nonetheless, audiobooks can run from 8 hours to 20 hours and many of us out here can read pages faster.
- Super subjective one but sometimes they sound silly. So here is my super weird experience, when I’m listening for a while I don’t notice anything. But when I start listening after taking a noticeable break things can sound.. awkward? Cringy? Especially if there is dramatic acting going on. But after 5-10 minutes or so, that feeling goes away and everything is cool again, go figure.
- Availability and pricing. If you want to buy and keep audiobooks they cost a lot of money.
3. Sources for Audiobooks
- Audible has some reasonable monthly prices and sales. Scribd is a pretty incredible rental service for the price. Also note that there are a lot of illegal paid services out there, Audible and Scribd are legitimate, but be careful if you choose to google this topic.
- My preferred method of obtaining audiobooks is through Overdrive via my local library. I’m fortunate enough to have access to two libraries, my local one and a collaborative one that covers multiple counties throughout Michigan and Indiana. You may want to check your local library’s website to see if they have more information about this.
- If your library selection is lacking and you’re a US resident, some libraries offer a library card to anyone with a US address for an upfront cost. There’s some blog posts about this topic here and here. I want to make note of Brooklyn Public Library in particular, it has a huge selection. If you google a library’s name plus overdrive you can easily view their selections. A fantastic “deal” for avid consumers of audiobooks and ebooks but for new releases or very popular books there can be wait lines but if you need to read a particular title right now, audiobooks are just not the easiest nor cheapest route. For example I’m itching to read House of Salt and Sorrows but the wait lines are quite long for this new and popular release so I’ll probably end up buying the book soon.
- You may want to check your own local libraries for their physical audiobook selections too.
I consider myself a fan of audiobooks even though I rarely listen to them. If I hear of a great one that enhances the experience, will totally consider it. But otherwise my reading speed is fast so I’d rather save time by good old-fashioned reading. My next stop on the audiobook train is going to be Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It has a full cast of actors. Also have the physical book with all of its highly unique approaches to page formatting, combining the two at once should be a doubly unique reading experience.
By the way, here are links to Audible and Scribd if you are curious about trying them, each one has month-long free trials (note: these are affiliate links, so I’d get a small commission or one free month if you do decide to try out either one.)
5.) So, lets talk.
- Do you listen to audiobooks, why or why not?
- If you DO, do you have some favorite audiobooks to recommend?
- Do you know of any audiobooks that have full casts of actors? Very curious to find more like that!
- Is there an audiobook in particular that you want to listen to? A sort of TBL instead of TBR, if you will. 😀
- If you have a blog post about audiobooks let me know and I’ll link it back in this post.
As always, I appreciate your thoughts/comments on this topic at any time.