I wanted a forum where we could talk about bookish subjects from swoon-worthy covers to the price of eBooks. I hope to share my thoughts on a different subject each month. So that we can all chat and share opinions. In the process I hope we get to know each other a little better. I made a pot of peppermint mocha coffee and have some lovely peppermint tea so grab a cup and let’s chat:
I Have Become An Audiobook Junkie Have You?
If you asked last year for my opinion of audio books I would have said, “They aren’t for me, and I cannot concentrate. Maybe if I had a long commute to work but I do not listen to them. I prefer to read.” Honestly I thought to myself why would I listen for 15 hours when I could read the gosh darn book in 4 hours. I will explain why later in this post.
As a reader, I am constantly evolving and trying new things. Just as genres, authors and formats have evolved. I did not read YA until my kids were teens, and could not believe how good the fantasy, dystopian and science fiction novels in this age group had become. I dismissed the erotic genres after trying them in the early eighties. They had zero plot, and I use to say, “If I want to read smut I can borrow my hubby’s Playboys.” I recently picked one up, and no folks it was not Fifty Shades (I have not read them). This novel was compelling and actually had a plot along with all the hot and steamy sex scenes. The characters had depth and so I tried another. You get the picture. We change as readers.
In the past Bloggers, I love such as Loupe & Melliane @Hot Listens, Carmel @ Rabid Reads and Felicia @ Geeky Book Blogger have encouraged me to listen and so I did. In September of 2013, thanks to Overdrives’ Summer Free Audio program, I listened to and enjoyed Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. The narrator Katherine Kellgren offered a perfect introduction to listening. Her voice was delightfully animated and I had fun. Than in December, I tried a Christmas novella, but it was not until I listened to Anne Bishop’s urban fantasy, Written in Red in February of this year that my love of audios blossomed.
Written in Red on audio was a brilliant listen, thanks in part to Alexandra Harris’s engaging narration and Anne Bishop’s breathtaking world building. After listening, I knew I wanted more and signed up for an Audible membership. I had nothing to lose as you can cancel at any time.
Listening to audios takes some getting used to. At first, I sat with my ear buds, closed my eyes and just listened, but gradually I learned that I could follow along and do mundane chores. Suddenly all that wasted time during the day where reading was not possible I could listen! It made chores like laundry, cleaning floors, gardening and grocery shopping enjoyable. In fact, if an audio is good I will look for excuses to listen. My closets all sparkle!
Remember I questioned, “Why would I listen for 15 hours when I could read it in four?” The answer turned out to be simple. I can listen, when it is impossible to read. One cannot hold a paperback while scrubbing toilets or cutting the lawn. I also discovered that the more I listened the faster I could increase the audio speed as my brain learned to fine-tune my listening skills. I began on the slowest setting and now listen at 1.75x. It decreases the length of the overall audio.
At this time, my listening choices are limited to Urban Fantasy, Mystery, and thrillers with the occasion literary fiction. I have dabbled in romance a little with Ugly Love and my personal favorites, Lord Of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase and Outlander by Diana Gabolden. I am not quite ready to tackle overly steamy reads. The idea of listening to someone articulate the act makes me a tad uncomfortable, but I imagine I will pop that cherry eventually. For now, I am content listening to Kate Daniels, The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, Horror, Urban Fantasy, The Others, mysteries and more.
At the beginning of the year I listened to one audio a month and now listen to three or four each month. I encourage you to try them. There are several apps you can use on your smartphone or iPod to make listening mobile. My favorite is the Smart Audio Book Player. There is a free version to try and you can upgrade for $2.00. It is a onetime fee and offers additional features. I upgraded since it allows me to add covers, set a sleep timer and see how far I have progressed. Audible is fantastic. They offer several program. There basic offers one book a month (1 credit) for 14.99 a month. They offer a free book or reduce fee when you join and you can cancel at any time. You can learn more about it here: Audible.com
I hope you will try a few audios. Your local library rents them. It takes a few minutes to warm up to the narrator and than before you know it you become lost within the story. A good narrator can make or break a book, so pay attention to reviews from other listeners. You will eventually find favorite narrators you adore and ones to avoid. For me I often find the narration enhances the story for me and adds an extra element to the story.
So yes, I have become an Audiobook Junkie and I am delighted. How about you? Have you tried audios? Are you an addict or just a dabbler?