Friday, April 10, 2015

Discussions Only We Know - Audiobooks

Discussions Only We Know

Audiobooks

Do you listen to audiobooks? Why or why not? And here's a question for you...when you do a review of a book, do you always disclose if it was an audiobook? Why or why not? Do you think it's unethical not to disclose that fact?

I do listen to audiobooks, though not as often as I'd like. Audiobooks are expensive and my book funds are tight as it is. I do occasionally come across some audiobooks from the library or the occasional source that offers free listens. And my sister lets me have access to her audiobook library.

I’ve discussed a good bit recently about how I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk. I’ve been annoyed with almost every book I’ve picked up lately. But I’ve found that I can tolerate and let things slide while listening to an audiobook that I might have been more critical about had I read the book myself. So I actually wish I were able to experience more audiobooks right now, and maybe that would help me get out of this funk.

I used to take issue with audiobook narrators. When I read I, obviously, hear my own mental voice reading the way that I talk. But audiobook readers obviously have a different voice. And they read the way that they talk. Often times I find that audiobook narrators will place the emphasis in a sentence on different word than the one I would have if I had been the reader, and sometimes this can change the meaning of the sentence. Take the following sentence as an example with emphasis placed on four different words. Each slightly changes the impact and feeling of the sentence.

I am not in control.
I am not in control.
I am not in control.
I am not in control.

Now there's nothing to say where I would have placed the emphasis is the "correct" place, but it's just something that I tend to notice, especially if I'm listening to an audio version of a book I'm very familiar with.

But I'm pretty much over that. Now I've found that audiobooks are an excellent way for me to experience books while MULTITASKING! I have a limited amount of time in my day available to read--trust me, I squeeze out every minute I have. But audiobooks allow me to listen to a book while doing something else. I used to be able to listen at work with no problems. Sometimes work requires more brainpower now and I must focus on thinking rather than listening. It just depends. But I can definitely do housework or vacuum the pool in the summer while listening. I painted the garage while listening to an audiobook once. I have purged my closet while listening to an audiobook. I've cooked dinner while listening to an audiobook. I’ve done the dishes while listening to an audiobook. You get the idea.

I've also found that I end up getting my all-time favorite series on audio in addition to paper/kindle copies because I like to re-read, and with the more blogging I do the less I find time for re-reading. Audiobooks allow me to re-experience books without taking away from my regular, limited reading time. You can tell which are my most beloved series by which ones I have on audio.

Occasionally, I'll find a series like the Stephanie Plum series where the audio narrator really improves the series. I can't imagine not hearing Lorelai King narrate the Stephanie Plum books. I actually read One for the Money, but instead of hearing my own mental voice, I actually heard Lorelai King—or at least my impression of her. Jim Dale does a good job with the Harry Potter series as well. And we all know that I’ve gone on and on about Carter Finally Gets It and how I probably wouldn’t have really liked the book without Nick Podehl. I actually checked book 2, Carter’s Big Break, out from the library hoping just to move along in the series, but I didn’t get past the first chapter because I wanted it on audio. It wasn’t that the writing wasn’t good…I just need Nick to make it better.

I'm not sure if I think it's unethical not to reveal that you listened to the audiobook versus actually reading the book. At some level I don’t see how that matters, but I think it's always wise for you to disclose it. It’s definitely 100% needed if you feel like the narrator influenced your overall opinion of the book for good or for bad. Besides that, you have the opportunity to not only critique the book itself but the audiobook, narration and set up as well.

But I’m fully aware that audiobooks aren’t for everyone. My sister-in-law has tried several times, and she just doesn’t enjoy them. But then again, I have friends who either don’t really enjoy reading or don’t feel like they have time to read who love audiobooks. As a matter of fact, at least three of my real life friends who enjoy books have found that audiobooks are just about the only way that they can find the time to experience the books that they always want to get around to but otherwise wouldn’t have the time. It’s totally a personal choice, much the same as physical book versus e-reader is a personal choice.

Are you an audiobook fan? Or not really? Do you multitask when listening? Or can you only focus on one thing at a time? Are there any awesome audiobook recommendations that you have for me? What is your audiobook source? What do you guys think? Let me know!

18 comments:

  1. I like audiobooks. I got through the Game of Thrones books on audio while driving. Those were some long audiobooks. I also listened to the Selection series and quite a few classics.
    I wouldn't want to just listen and not read as I love both.
    I do remember listening to all the Harry Potter audiobooks with Jim Dale back when it was still cassette tapes. :-)

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  2. I have a job that lets me listen as I work, so I love multitasking with an audiobook. You can pick up audiobooks via paperbackswap - swap in your books for credits and use the credits to pick out audiobooks. Also, if you are willing to do a review, Audiobook Jukebox has so many audiobooks available for review in every genre.

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  3. I actually finished an audiobook today! It was Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Personally, I think I enjoyed it more as audiobook than I would have reading it. I do multitask. I play games, clean, and check e-mails. Among other frivolous things. I use OverDrive with Sync and my library!

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  4. Jennifer @ The Book NymphoApril 12, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    About 85% of my reading is audiobooks. I was lucky that I could listen at work so I could get in 2-3 audiobooks a week. Now that I'm no longer at that job my listening time will go down but I'm a total audio book junkie. A great narrator is key to enjoying audio books.


    Yes when I review audio books I label them as audios and write about the narrator as well as the story in my reviews. I think when reviewing audiobooks the most important of the review is how you liked/disliked the narrator. If you're not going to "review" the narrator what's the point in calling it an audio book review.


    Since I do review tons of audio books I've reached out to audio publishers for review request and now about 75% of my audio books come from publishers. You can save a ton on your book budget by reaching out and making contacts through the audio publishers.

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  5. I've only recently started listening to audiobooks, something I swore I'd never be able to do. At this point, my listening time is limited to driving and household chores, but I hope that changes in the near future. Right now, most of my audiobooks come from Audible, either with credits or very, very good deals :)

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  6. I love audiobooks for when I'm doing something that requires my hands and/or eyes - driving, housework, knitting. And yes, I do include the fact that I listened to a book in a review, because it can definitely affect my enjoyment of the book one way or the other. BTW, if you like Nick Podehl, he does an excellent job narrating Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. They'd better get him for Doors of Stone whenever it comes out, or I won't be able to listen to it!

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  7. It really does help me pass the time of doing chores plus it helps me achieve my # of books read per year goal! There are some books on my TBR list that I'd never take the time to read but would definitely invest the time listening to. Thanks for stopping by Kimba!

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  8. I listened to the last 67% of A Dance with Dragons and it helped me get through it in 2 weeks rather than 6 months. I've got The Selection series on my TBR list...maybe I need to see if those are available on audio through my library.

    I'm with you. I couldn't ONLY listen to audiobooks. I like to actually read too.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting Amanda!

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  9. Oh it's great when you can listen at work. That helps the day go by quicker, plus if you work 8 hours a day then you can really blow through some books. I'll have to check out paperbackswap and Audiobook Jukebox! Thanks for the resource recommendations! And thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  10. I have Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock on audiobook. I got it last year with the Sync audiobooks, but I haven't had a chance to listen to it. I love when the audiobook makes me like the book more. I definitely use OverDrive with my local library for 95% of my audiobooks. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sarah!

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  11. It totally sucks when you're used to being able to listen a good portion of the work day to no longer being able to do that. But kudos on getting so much of your reading done through audiobooks. That's great.


    I don't title my reviews as audio book reviews, but I always try to mention it and review the narration as well within the review itself.

    Do you just contact the audio publishers for specific books or do they have a catalog of upcoming releases available for review somewhere? I'm unfamiliar with actually reviewing audiobooks for publishers. I know they don't always release audiobooks at the same time as the book initially publishes.

    Thanks so much for your comments Jennifer!

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  12. I'm so glad that you gave audiobooks a shot. I wasn't sure I'd be able to listen to them either, but I've really evolved over the years. I don't have an Audible subscription as of yet because with Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Prime, etc...I just didn't want to add another month subscription on top of that. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Reanna!

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  13. Oh more Nick Podehl audiobooks!!!!! YAY! Lark! You just made my day! Going to add those to my TBR (TBL???) list immediately! Thanks so much!

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  14. Jennifer @ The Book NymphoApril 14, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    Most of the publishers send out monthly emails with a list of audios available for review. Once you reach out to them introducing yourself they add you to their list.

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  15. Very true. There are definitely pros and cons to audiobooks, one of which is that I keep falling asleep when listening to audiobooks, but at least I'm making more progress than with physical books...reading slumps (and really time crunches) are difficult.

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  16. Haha! Yes I can see how it might be easy to fall asleep listening to audiobooks! But you're right, at least you're making progress. Thanks for stopping by Michelle!

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  17. I did a post about my transformation and subsequent addiction to audiobooks. I always have one going as well as a book. I love being able to multitask and still read.

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