The Audiobook Experience

I’ve never really been a fan of audiobooks. But then again, I’ve never really given them a try. So I figured, what better time to try it than my road trip from Tampa to Charleston last week!

I’ve heard tons of ads for one free audiobook from Audible.com from a few podcasts I’ve listened to, so I signed up and was ready to browse the selection and choose my book. I have several on my list that I want to read, so the first thing I did was start looking those up. The biggest thing I was looking for in my audio book? A good reading voice!

I think my biggest turn off for audiobooks in the past was hearing snippets of dull voices. If you’re spending 7+ hours listening to a voice, it has to be a good one!

After listening to sound previews for 12 books or so, I finally settled on one. Eleanor & Park. I like the style of book that flips from one perspective to another, and as a bonus, there were two readers of this audiobook, which was great!

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I listened to the first few chapters on my drive up but couldn’t get into it. I started thinking the audio book thing just wasn’t for me (for real), so I gave up and put some tunes on instead.

When it was time to drive home I thought I’d give it another try. I got hooked. Big time. The ride went by so much faster despite rain 85% of my drive. I almost didn’t want to be home once I got back because I wanted to keep listening!

Of course, this is mainly due to me enjoying the story, but also, the narrators did a fantastic job! It wasn’t a flat level, monotone listen at all. With the length of it, it felt almost like a “binge listen” (chapters instead of TV episodes). I couldn’t stop listening!

While I really enjoyed my first audiobook experience overall, I’m not sure I’ll invest in another just yet. Fortunately, my commute to work is pretty short and I don’t have any big drives planned in the near future. I think that’s where audio books work best.

Have you tried audiobooks? Love them? Hate them? Any recommendations? I’d love to know!

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  • Nadine

    I just started listening to audiobooks last month. My first one was Yes, Please and I really liked it because Amy read it herself and had a few guest readers. Then I did The Martian and man, did I get hooked instantly!!!! It was such an amazing book! Right now I have 29 minutes left of Bossypants. I think all the memoirs that I want to read will be consumed through audiobook.

    • That’s not a bad idea! I think it’s really cool when the author is narrating – especially when it’s someone famous that you already know!

  • I love Rainbow Rowell so much<3! Fangirl is one of my favorite books ever and you would love it too since I know how much you enjoy Harry Potter! I've heard the Ready Player One audiobook is really good because it narrated by Wil Wheaton AND Amy Poehler's Yes, because Amy Poehler.

    • Ooh I’ll have to check those out! I want to read all of Rainbow’s books now, I just hope the ending isn’t as cliff-hangy as E&P!

  • I haven’t tried them yet for that reason – no where to listen to them. I spend about 8 minutes walking to the train, then 13 on the train, then I’m at work. Maybe on a long drive it would be good, like you said. Next road trip!

    • Exactly! Too much stop and go to follow the story easily.

  • the only way i like audio books is if the book itself is more of a memoir type thing and it’s read by the author themselves.

    • Those are the first ones I go to check out – it’s very cool to listen to the author reading their own work!

  • When I first tried audiobooks back in high school I hated them! It took me almost 8 years to give another one a try. Now I’m hooked! I go through about 4 a month! I agree, you have to like the reading voice, that is key. And I don’t just listen to audiobooks in the car! I listen to them as I get ready in the morning, as I make dinner at night, and sometimes (if it’s a super engaging book) while I workout! I strongly suggest giving them another try. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a great one to try on audio! :)

    • Wow, 4 a month?! I didn’t really think about listening to them during daily activities outside of the car. All the Light We Cannot see has been on my read list, so maybe I’ll give it a try via audiobook, thanks for the rec!

  • Eleanor and Park was such a good book!! I wanted to try listening to audiobooks when driving long distances, but the CD player in my car is broken! If I’m at home and able to just read, I’d probably rather do that first.

    • I loved it! Although the end drove me crazy. I wanted to know more! I used an app on my phone and hooked it up to my car through the aux cord to listen. It was great!

  • I use audio books ALL of the time; when I’m folding laundry, when I’m putting my make up on, when I’m cooking! I use an app called overdrive where you log in with your public library card and then have access to a ton of audiobooks to rent for 2 weeks! I highly recommend listening to the Harry Potter audio books by Jim Dale; they are the best audio books I have ever listened to and I own them all and constantly will re-listen to them during roadtrips!

    • I didn’t really think about listening much outside of the car, I’ll have to give it a try. That app sounds fantastic, I’m definitely going to look into it! Renting them sounds much better than buying them all :) Although I’d definitely invest in HP ones, they’re my favorite!

  • Very cool review to read! I JUST started reading on my iPad and that was a huge step so I don’t think Ill’ try audiobooks any time soon but I loved this review

    Xxx
    Naomi in Wonderland

    • I still haven’t made the move to reading on a tablet yet. There’s just something about holding an actual book in your hand! I might need to give in soon though, sometimes it’s just hard to lug one around with you (esp if it’s a hardcover)!

  • Tia Smith

    I love audio books, I am able to enjoy so many more books because I can just listen in the car, while working out or while at work. I find the local library is a great place to find a lot of great choices from fiction to informational.

    • That’s a great tip, thanks! I always forget that the library has a selection of audiobooks.