I love audiobooks. I love it not.
I love audiobooks. I love it not.
Heck! I cannot do this anymore.
That’s my relationship with audiobooks. I first came across audiobooks through bookstagram when everyone I knew spoke high and mighty about it. I thought why not I give it a try too. I went ahead and made a subscription on Audible and bought a couple of great titles. But little did I know I was going to regret my decision in the very next ten minutes.
I tried again after a couple of days and it failed me again.
That’s how I picked up Daisy Jones & The Six and I had a ball of a time. But then I wondered why.
So, here are some of the reasons why audiobooks aren’t my best friend.
- Ah, the voices in my head!
I am a visual person. I need to see the words I read. No, I am not getting into the debate of ‘listening to audiobooks is not reading.’ And that’s why I am okay with including audiobooks and other formats on my reading challenge. But I simply cannot find myself able to sit still and concentrate without my mind wandering to other places. I think I’d be okay if I have a commute every day to work but I do not.
You may then say, I can multitask and do mundane tasks while listening to books. I simply am unable to and if I try listening before bed, it feels like a lullaby and I fall asleep in no time.
- Can’t do book reviews
I am someone who loves to list my evidence or add quotes to my book reviews and I find it extremely difficult to write reviews for audiobooks. Apart from not seeing words including headings and page numbers, I find it hard to take notes or capture quotes. It means you have to pause, rewind, take a note and start again. That’s so much extra work.
You would agree that some sentences in a book are hard-hitting. If I am listening to an audiobook, I would hear that sentence with the same weight as the rest of the chapter.
- Gosh, I’m lost!
When I try to resume an audiobook after a break however short it may be, it seems 10x harder to jog my memory. You can’t skim pages and that’s a pain!
- It all depends on the narrator
A narrator can make or break an audiobook. The lack of variation in the narrator’s voice is an instant put-off. If the narrator is not able to emote with some sort of enthusiasm or lilting, or if he talks dang too slow, I find myself drifting and losing focus.
That’s one of the reasons I prefer listening to non-fiction audiobooks, especially autobiographies. When authors read their own work it creates an instant connection and intimacy with the reader/listener and when I find such good audiobooks, I find reasons to keep my earbuds rolling.
Ellen DeGeneres’ Seriously… I’m Kidding is a perfect example of the same. Listening to the book was like watching Ellen on her show. There were moments when I laughed out loud only to realize I’d be looking like an idiot with my earbuds on. The audiobook even had the sounds of beach waves, casino ruckus, etc. and it was refreshingly different.
Have you tried audiobooks? What has your experience been like? Please share your tips and recommendations.
I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z and My theme for the A to Z Challenge this year is ‘Celebrating the Bibliophile in me’, where I will be sharing the books, authors and fictional characters that I love, loathe and tolerate.
Ah, there could be more!
You can follow me on my Bookstagram at Muffytales.
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Namratha Varadharajan says
Hello Kohl-eyed Shalini! I think I am doing AtoZ for the sole reason of revisiting some of the bloggers who I have read each April!
Audio books.. hmm… i am almost indifferent to them. I had an audible free subscription but I never found enough time to be alone to utilize it. I still have the 3 audio books I borrowed left unfinished. I can only ever listen to them when I am walking alone, and that is not often. Hence I have unsubscribed and gone back to my dear old books. Even ebooks are better that audiobooks, in my opinion!
Namratha Varadharajan recently posted…The American Sentence – Short Poetry Forms #AtoZChallenge #Blogchattera2z
I also gave Audible a try but just couldn’t enjoy it . Certainly I also get lost !!
Very relatable post! I’m reading my first full length audio novel. I take a break from my writing session and then listen to a complete chapter. And yes, now that you have said, it would be difficult to write a review.
‘It all depends on the narrator.’ Couldn’t agree more!
Vishal Bheeroo says
Thanks for sharing about audio books and I kinda agree with the points made here, about taking a pause and stopping. I’ve never tried and it’s not something that I would be able to connect with for the need for visual imagery, underlying words and pausing. Both print and kindle work good for me.
Ravish Mani says
Shalini, I too prefer nonfiction audiobooks over fiction and completely agree with you regarding taking notes for reviews & other purposes. That’s why I prefer ebooks these days over paperbacks because it’s easier to extract annotations from them & rearrange them as per needs.
Khushbu Mathur says
I have found myself to be really selective with audiobooks. Like a memoir let’s say would be a great audiobook especially if narrated by the author. How awesome it is to listen to a person’s story in their own voice. I say this from experience of listening to Unfinished by Priyanka Chopra
And agree, something like fiction, thriller would not be such a great idea in audiobook.
I love everything about this blog and as I recently started listening audiobook I can relate so much! waiting for tomorrow’s blog already!
Suchita Agarwal says
I have a love-hate relationship too. The only reason I could get through Sandman was it felt like an orchestra/play for my ears. I tried Pride and Prejudice after that and though Rosamund Pike is brilliant as a narrator, I still keep getting lost.
Anuradha Sowmyanarayanan says
I’m away from audio books.
Haha ! This was way too relatable ! Can’t wait to see what else you come up with ..
Swarnali Nath says
Reading books gives me peace. While listening to audiobooks, I can’t feel the connection with the story in the same way I can feel it in paperback or ebooks. Your pointers were very relatable Shalini. Looking forward to read more from you.
Rashi Roy says
Yes, a lot depends on the narrator and most of the times I get lost. Not a big fan of audio books but it is definitely a great way to read more books in this busy life.
Anagha Yatin says
Shalini first of all a very happy A2Z to you. Girl, you started off on the right note for the challenge.
I tried my ears at audiobooks too. But most of the time I found myself either distracted or happily snoring. Like you, I need to see the words to create the magic. So I am in your gang.
I haven’t tried an audiobook yet! A few years ago, I would listen to classics bring read on BBC radio and it felt good. But somehow, hearing a full length book is intimidating.
Manali Desai says
I could relate to so many points, especially about the need to mark quotes. I’ve never tried an audiobook and it took me a while to get into ebooks too. But I’m hoping, I’ll be able to try and adapt to audiobooks, sooner rather than later