So, if you’ve read any of my posts, you probably know I listen to a fair number of audiobooks. I know that audiobooks can be divisive with some arguing that listening to a book doesn’t count as reading and others finding the experience disagreeable but I’m a fan. To celebrate, I thought I’d have a little discussion post about audiobooks.
Do ALL THE THINGS
As a multitasking queen, anything that enables me to tackle my TBR while also taking on a stack of dirty dishes or a pile of laundry is a plus!
I also work a job where I can listen to audiobooks while I work. I realize that this is a privilege that a lot of people don’t have, but it makes work a lot more bearable – especially when the majority of my work is placing lines in proper places on graphs. I can safely say that without audiobooks, work would drag on a lot more than it does. And I’d probably nod off quite a bit. Warning: carefully curate what you’re listening to at work! I definitely have been caught crying from a book more than once at work – even as recently as this week. Oops!
I also may or may not listen to audiobooks in the shower. For, you know, those days where I don’t quite feel up to singing in the shower. My Bluetooth speaker and me? Yeah, we’re pretty close.
Get Up to Speed
I will say, I initially didn’t really enjoy listening to books – it always felt like the narrators were talking too slow. I am a person who does nothing slowly. I have to be moving, I have to be going, and I’m pretty sure that when I talk, it sounds like someone has hit the fast forward button on life. When the narration goes too slowly, my mind wanders and I can’t focus on the book. I can’t speak to subscription services like audible or scribd but I can say that Overdrive and Libby have been game changers for me. Overdrive lets one speed audio up to double time (in quarter increments if I remember correctly) and Libby lets you go up to 3x in increments of 0.05 on a fun little slider.
Do you know what this means? I can make my audio go as fast as I talk, as fast as I can read, and as fast as the little conversations in my head. It also goes so fast that I am forced to focus on listening and can block out distractions around me. It drives my coworkers mad but they’re not the ones listening so I honestly don’t care too much what they think!
It’s All in the Telling (or is it?)
I know some people the narrator plays a large part of whether or not they can enjoy an audiobook. I haven’t found this to be the case for myself. I can only think of one book that I really disliked the narration for and while that wasn’t entirely the deciding factor, it did play a role in me walking away from the book. Other than that, I can only think of one time where I disliked a narrator and it was because of a RIDICULOUS voice they had for a character.
But narrators can also be something that draws people towards audiobooks. I know people who have favorite narrators and even someone who will automatically give an audiobook a go if they know it has their all-time favorite narrator. I personally don’t have a favorite but I have gotten to a point where I recognize a voice or two (I see you, Nancy Wu).
Overall though, I’d say that narration doesn’t really play that big of a role in how I curate my audiobook experience with one major exception – books narrated by their authors. There’s just something so authentic about how the characters are presented when the person reading is their creator and I love it!
Sometimes it’s About Sharing
You know how I said I listen to books at work? Well, it’s not always on my own. As a lab, we all started listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks at work. It was a lot of fun for those of us already familiar with the stories but we also got to share the wizarding world with coworkers who had never read the books or seen the movies before. And it wasn’t just our shift – every shift joined in. It sort of brought us all together and it was
kinda really nice. (Shout-out to the coworker who keeps all the Harry Potter books on CD in her car trunk at all times? omg?)
But it’s not just at work. Road trips? Babysitting? Everyone gets to share the experience together. Reading out loud can be fun but sometimes that’s not an option and other times it’s nice to just be able to kick back and relax and let someone else do the reading for you.
While I get that they’re not for everyone, I’m definitely appreciative of having the option to listen to audiobooks. They make it so I can have a nice way to enjoy a good story when I might not otherwise be able to. They help me get through tough tasks and rough days and let me share something fun with those around me. And you know that it being audiobook month in June, I’m enjoying all the LGBTQ+ audiobooks I can get ahold of! (Snaps to my library for having a way better selection than I anticipated!)
So, how do you feel about audiobooks? Love em? Hate em? Just can’t get into em? Let me know! If you have a particular memory of listening to a book that stands out, share it with me!