September 24, 2011

Pajama Musings - Just listen

Maybe it's just me, but lately it seems I read about audio books quite a lot on other blogs. Obviously audio books as such aren't such a new thing. I remember when I was still working at a bookshop (back in the good ol' times at Uni) we had a small number of them available and no one ever seemed to buy one. I'm not sure whether this was because of the kind of books that were on offer, the hefty price tag or the fact that most were abridged versions of the actual books.

Time for a confession. I've never listened to an audio book. Though, to be completely honest with you, I did have tapes with fairy tales as a kid, but I won't count those now. It just never occurred to me that audio books might be an option when it comes to reading. Reading means turning pages, or pushing buttons as of lately. Still, there is a big difference between moving from physical books to eBooks compared to trying out audio books.

The thing is that I've heard a whole lot of good things about audio books. Some fellow bloggers seem to love them which makes me wonder whether to give it a try or not.

I do have a few concerns though. The price being one of them. Audio books don't come cheap. You can't just wait for the paperback version here after all. You'll get a paperback for roughly $8,00 and then you have the audio book for $20,00 and it's considered a bargain. Then, of course, I noticed that a lot of audio books come in abridged versions. That's like buying a book with every other page missing. The only good thing abridged versions have going for them is that they are cheaper than the unabridged ones. Last of all, and this is probably the most important part, what if I totally dislike the narrator's voice? I mean, this isn't something you can ignore. You will have to go through with it for several hours and might even end up wishing for the abridged version after all because of the whiny or otherwise irritating voice. And even if the voice itself is ok, you might feel it just doesn't fit the narration/book. Oh, so many excuses for not listening to audio books!

Despite the voice (not whiny, but soothing, haha) telling me to stick to the good old fashioned page-turning experience of enjoying a book, I am curious about audio books. I'd love to hear your opinions on them. Have you ever listened to audio books? Do you actually love and recommend them? Or are you more like me, a bit skeptic due to the reasons mentioned above? Let me know.


  1. I have tried several times to listen to books, but I can't concentrate at all. I even tried not doing anything but sit on the sofa and listen to the recording, but then my mind starts thinking about other things and I find myself not realizing what the narrator is speaking about :) As for listening while i travel, it takes me 5 minutes to get to work, and I love sleeping during flights, so in conclusion, no audio books for me :)

  2. Yep. Not for me. I tried it with "Emma", a book I know and like, so, I made sure I would be interested in listening. Didn't work. I just don't like listening to someone read to me. If someone wants to tell me about something they are reading in the paper I always go and read it rather than listen to them read it to me ten times slower than I could read it myself. No audio books for me!

  3. Audio books put me to sleep, so I give them thumbs down.

  4. I tried, but they are not for me. It depends on what type of memory you have. I for example need to see everything written otherwise I'll zone out and won't remember much. Secondly, audio books are too slow for me, I can read through a page while they are finishing their third sentence :)

  5. Thank you all for your feedback!
    I'm still undecided and the "zoning out" is probably something that might happen to me too. Well, maybe someone who loves audio books comments and manages to wet my appetite after all?

  6. I'm not going to be very encouraging either, audio books just don't work for me. Apart from the fact that with four kids it is never quiet enough in my house to consider it, I find it impossible to concentrate on a voice that is over modulated and slow. I think its probably worth trying if you are interested though, I have a friend who swears by them.

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  7. Ha - I just have to add my two bits... You know that I love audio books. :-) For example this morning I changed the bedsheets, did the laundry, cleaned up the dining table and exchanged summer decorations for fall all while listening to a book. No lost reading time! You have to love that!
    With all the many audio and Audible books I have listened to I have only heard maybe 5 terrible narrators. Fortunately you can usually find a review at Audible or other places that will tell you the quality of a narrator.
    I get free audios during the summer through SYNC and Tantor and Iambic and author audio stores have lots of titles/sales for $6-7.00.
    I think you should give it a try. :-)

    1. Hahaha ... don't judge me too harshly, this is an OLD post, Martha! Though to be fair, so far I haven't had the time to listen to the audio book I've won on your blog *ducks and runs*.