Like every passionate reader, I wish to devour as many books as possible. The thing is there is only so much time in a day for that to happen. I thought audiobooks would be a great way to experience more books at a time by listening to them in the car or at home. When it comes to audiobooks though, I just haven’t gotten into it as much as I thought I would. Some of the biggest issues I always seem to run into are time, my music craving, and attention span.
The majority of my listening experience is done in the car. I have a forty minute commute five days a week and yet it can take me more than a month to listen to a regular sized book on audio. I just returned one to the library and had a dollar fine since I couldn’t finish it in three weeks. I’ve found road trips make the best occasions for audiobooks. Long periods without anything to do fits perfectly. That way if you’re driving you still get a reading experience.
Here’s the thing, though. I miss out on listening to the radio for long periods of time then. It’s not that I can’t listen to music at home, I am just doing other things. Car time means listening time and trading one for the other makes me sad. Why can’t I have all the things? Maybe I need to listen to more audiobooks at home. But how would I read physical books as well? Time always seems to bring me down.
When I’m listening to an audiobook I often find myself losing interest or my thoughts just wandering to other things. This makes it hard for me to focus on a story and connect with the characters and their experiences. My comprehension goes out the window and I miss out on important moments. I never had that problem with lectures but I think it has to do with my taking notes at the same time, keeping track of what’s happening.
The only other issue I occasionally run into is narration. In the end a narrator can make or break an audiobook for the reader. A Series of Unfortunate Events is one that makes a great example. Some of the books are narrated by the author but others by Tim Curry. The difference between them is huge and it affects my reading experience. Thankfully I haven’t had too much disappointment on this front.
With all this in mind, I typically listen to audiobooks that I have already read or are shorter. It’s a nice way to be able to reread a book that you might not get back to otherwise. I just finished Six of Crows and listened to The Wrath & The Dawn earlier in the year and both were excellent! Plus I’m making my way through A Series of Unfortunate Events on audio. I didn’t read them as a kid and there are only three or four discs per book.
I guess audiobooks are kind of a mixed bag for me. When I do listen to them I typically really enjoy them. It’s just finding the time and putting that extra amount of focus into them that makes it more difficult than physical copies. It’s definitely a different reading experience but with the right narrator an audiobook will certainly leave its mark!
Questions for Discussion
What’s your audiobook experience?
When do you listen? In the car? At home?
How many audiobooks do you listen to per month?
Any favorite books or narrators on audio?
Do you use Audible, Overdrive, etc.?
I ‘d love to hear all about your thoughts, opinions, and experiences when it comes to audiobooks. Feel free to comment below and let me know what’s on your mind!