Thoughts on Audiobooks: Yay, Nay, or Okay?

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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!


11 thoughts on “Thoughts on Audiobooks: Yay, Nay, or Okay?

  1. I’m not a big fan of audio books either. I’m baffled by people who exclusively listen to audio books and consider that reading (trying not to sound judgmental here lol).

    I do like your idea of rereading your favorite novels as audio books. That never occurred to me and it sounds like a fun and quick way to experience stories we love.
    But ultimately, I have to stick to physical books or eBooks. I can’t seem to concentrate as long as I’d like when I”m just listening to a story. I really am a terrible listener in general. If a person goes on talking for too long, I begin to get annoyed and my mind wanders off! ahah. That doesn’t seem to be the case with writing though. You can write as much as you want and I’d read it all no problem!

    If audio books are going to ever work for me, I will have to prioritize them (like I do reading physical books) by sitting down and making the time to just read/listen to a story without distractions. I can’t possibly imagine being able to fully enjoy a book while driving/running/cleaning. No way.


    • Yeah making time for anything takes a lot of effort and planning. I’ve found it is easier to listen to books I’ve already read since I know what’s going to happen. Sticking with physical books is just as great though!


  2. Great topic! I have also toyed with the idea of listening to more (any) audio books. On road trips they’re really fun, but I’m so visual in the way I process information that reading a book is so much more enjoyable than listening to one.


  3. i ADORE audiobooks and listen to them almost exclusively. but i also grew up listening to them. i listen anywhere–at home, in the car when i’m walking. it’s just so much more portable than physical books, in my opinion. i listen to at least 4 audiobooks per month and use audible, scribd, and overdrive/my library to listen to digital copies.Some of my favorite narrators are Emma Galvin and the narrators of The Shadowhunter Chronicles (who are usually some famous actor/actress)
    i can’t tell you what i love about audiobooks, i just feel like i get a fuller experience with them. plus i have really bad add/adhd and i can do stuff with my hands while listening to audiobooks, which helps me focus.

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  4. I listen to audiobooks occasionally. Normally I have to get CDs (no phone), so it’s a bit hard to lug them about. I listen while knitting, because that makes my life easier.

    I only like audiobooks when when the voice isn’t computerized, which pretty much means author-narrated books. Everything else sounds fake and computer-y and I have this problem with understanding computer-y voices. ALSO, I can’t tell what the voice is going to be like until I listen to it at home, and then I kind of die inside because I DON’T HAVE A BOOK TO LISTEN TO NOW. *is not an audiobook expert*

    I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman’s voice. *nodnod*


  5. I’ve recently gotten into audiobooks and the few I’ve listened to I’ve really liked. I usually listen to audiobooks at home while I’m cleaning or doing other things.


  6. Pingback: Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Posts | Hopeful Reads

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