I finished my first audiobook on the way home from work today. I listened to Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater because I thought it might be interesting to try an audiobook of something I already loved so that I could judge whether I liked the audio experience rather than the book itself.

It felt really weird to listen to somebody reading at first. For one, it was SLOW. I’m glad there wasn’t a lot of suspense because I would have been frustrated. Grace’s voice sounded fairly close to how I imagined it, but Sam sounded much goofier and almost like he was constantly asking a question. I got used to the main characters’ voices after a bit, but never liked the way they sounded when they were saying other peoples’ lines, particularly when they tried to sound like somebody of the opposite gender. That was just bad.

Overall, though, in the almost two weeks it took for me to listen to this book, I went from feeling uncomfortable to looking forward to listening on my commute. When I got stuck in construction the other day it was nice to be able to sit back and listen to a story. I still wanted to move, but it was better than just music.

I’m going to try out an audiobook download from the library of something I haven’t read before and see if it works as a substitute for me. Audiobooks are insanely expensive, unless they are abridged, apparently. And who wants an abridged book? I don’t want part of a story; I want the whole thing. Otherwise it feels like they just got tired of reading and started cutting bits out. That doesn’t work for me. So, for now, my audiobook selections will be limited to what I can download from the library. That’s not a whole lot, but hopefully it will be enough for me to get a better sense of whether this is something I want to continue.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, do you have any good ones to recommend?


12 Responses to "Audiobooks"

  • I’ve only done one audiobook and I listened to it when I was commuting as well. I completely understand that feeling you are describing! I felt so awkward at first listening to it and it took a lot for me to learn how to concentrate on it while not focusing too much and driving off the road. But then I got to the point where I didn’t want to get out of the car! It was bad because the book I was listening to was I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb and it was sad at the end so I was BAWLING while on the turnpike! lol

    1 Jamie said this (October 21, 2010 at 6:49 PM)

  • The first day I was listening and then looked at my speedometer for a second and realized I was going way too fast…but after that I was okay!

    2 Melanie said this (October 21, 2010 at 7:02 PM)

  • I listen to Harry Potter while driving, it’s nice because I already know the story, so it’s okay that I zone out, but I don’t zone out a whole lot.

    Like you, it took me a lot of time to get used to the audio, but I find it calms me.

    3 April (Books&Wine) said this (October 21, 2010 at 8:25 PM)

  • I wish the library had Harry Potter. That would be awesome. I’m pretty sure I would be super excited to drive to work listening to that.

    My next one is After by Amy Efaw.

    4 Melanie said this (October 21, 2010 at 8:32 PM)

  • I adore audiobooks. I borrow them from the library, both digital and hard copies. Favorites: Water for Elephants, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, City of Thieves, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, To Kill a Mockingbird (narrated by Sissy Spacek), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Gates. I’ve also heard The Help is very good. I tend to look for novels that are narrated in the first person, so it’s more like someone is telling me their story.

    5 Erin said this (October 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM)

  • I’ve been listening to Harry Potter while I work out. Like the person above said, it’s nice because I can zone out occasionally and not feel like I missed too much. The HP audiobooks are EXCELLENT.

    6 Jessica Love said this (October 21, 2010 at 9:40 PM)

  • Harry Potter definitely sounds like a winner. That is part of what I liked about Shiver, too. If I missed a minute, it was no biggy because I’ve already read it twice. I know the story well. It still felt very new to me in the different format, though.

    Erin, thanks for those great suggestions. I’ll keep an eye out for all of those or see if I can find any that are affordable enough. I tend to prefer first person narratives anyway, but I can absolutely see the added benefit for audio. That’s a great point.

    7 Melanie said this (October 21, 2010 at 11:06 PM)

  • I listen to audiobooks, mostly while I’m at work. It’s not my favorite way to get reading in, but since I work and go to school it’s one of the only was I can get some extra reading in. The key is just to find the right reader.

    8 Ash said this (October 22, 2010 at 4:42 PM)

  • I barely listen to audiobooks, but I can see when they’re helpful. I usually listen to them in long road trips. But after listening to some audiobook samples on Audible, I can say that Some Girls Are audiobook is one of my favorites. I like the narrator’s voice.

    9 Choco said this (October 23, 2010 at 5:03 PM)

  • Oh! I forgot to mention, it’s really weird for me to listen to the parts in audiobooks, where the narrator is speaking the line of a character that’s a different gender. It’s especially weird and when I listen to it, it makes me get a different image of what the character looks like, ‘specially if it’s the love interest and might be mentioned as hot.

    10 Choco said this (October 23, 2010 at 5:05 PM)

  • most of the time i listen to audiobooks while surfing the net, i love to multitask he he ~

    11 Laser Etching Machine : said this (October 31, 2010 at 12:25 PM)

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