Sunday, November 28, 2010

Audio Books: The Test for a True Reader

For Thanksgiving this year I drove down to my parents house in Florida.  It is about an 8 hour drive, and I was making the haul alone this time.  About an hour into the trip I was tired of flipping through radio stations and digging through old CD's (you would have thought I could have planned better, as I am a list maker...).  I was coming up to an exit with a Cracker Barrel (yummm) when I realized that they have the audio books that you can rent.  I've seen audio books in Borders and Barnes & Noble before but they were always so expensive that I never really wanted to give them a try.  I also don't really know when/where I would listen to them.  My commute to work is pretty short, and other than that when I'm in the car I want to jam!  
I decided that I would stop at Cracker Barrel and see about getting and audio book.  I figured, I've got seven more hours to go, I might as well "read" a book.  I browsed through the rack of audio books and found one that peaked my interest: Insatiable by Meg Cabot.  I love Meg Cabot and thought it would be a great book to try.  

After finding out that I have to put up the full amount of the audio book ($44.00) and would be reimbursed everything except for the $3.95 rental fee, I couldn't take it any longer.  I had to see what all the hype was about audio books.  I got back into the car, and continued the long trek.  I had a lot of things going through my mind going into this. 

What if I don't like the voice of the person reading me this book?
What if I can't follow along?
What if it is too fast? Or too slow?
What if I start to fall asleep listening to this?
What if, what if, what if...

Well, as it turns out, the voice of the lady reading the book was awful.  She sounded like a twelve year old girl that really enjoyed using accents and making funny sounds.  It wasn't hard to follow along with the story line....but after a full CD I thought -- "Wow, there are a lot of CD's in this case -- I wonder how long this book is."  16.45 hours, that's how long.  The woman girl reading the book read at a snails pace and I kept getting really bored.  At one point I really thought I was going to fall asleep if she didn't pick up the pace.  

Once I realized how long the book was and that there was no way I could stand to listen to the little girl any longer, I switched back to channel surfing the radio.  As soon as I made it down to my parents house I busted out the Kindle and downloaded the book.  

Needless to say -- audio books are not for me.  I am way too ADD and such a control freak that I have to read the books myself.  My boyfriend jokingly told me that the only way he thinks I would enjoy an audio book would be if I recorded it myself.  Half because I love to hear my own voice...

Have you tried audio books before?  Do you like them?  Am I missing something?  The thrill just wasn't there for me.  I'm sticking to regular books until someone gives me the secret!

Happy Reading!


Teresa said...

I've only recently discovered audio books and I really enjoy them. Just because this one wasn't for you, don't write them off completely. I'd suggest finding a title that you've already read and really enjoyed. Borrowing that title from the library. That way you will know if you really don't like audio books or if it was that specific book or narrator.

ladaisi said...

Came across you via SeededBuzz and must say I love your blog!

Audiobooks - I prefer to read myself. . . but audiobooks have taught me how to read aloud to others, which I enjoy very much.

I'm going to have to try this Teaser Tuesday thing. It sounds like a great way to find new books. I'm instantly sucked in if I can hear the words when I read them - you know, if they have their own distinct voice.

Keep writing!

You might like to try Book Lovers Blog Hop at Story Time Under the Stars.


- Lauren

Came across your blog via SeededBuzz and must say you have a very distinct, engaging style of writing! I very much enjoyed this post in particular.

I've had this happen to me before - so I took my shirt back to the store and demanded they remove the security tag for me.

Keep writing!

- Lauren

Annette Mills said...

There's a big difference in audiobooks--and you are right -- it depends on the voice! I've heard bad ones, but if you get a good one, I love it. One of my favorite audiobooks is Water for Elephants. So, I wouldn't give up after only trying one. Also, don't forget you can check them out from most libraries!

iubookgirl said...

I've been thinking about trying audiobooks, but I have the same fears you just confirmed!

Shonda said...

It took me 3 years to be able to listen to an audio book. My mind kept wandering or I'd leave the room and forgot I was listening to a book. I kept trying to find one that I'd click with and it was a long, long wait. But I kept with it and I'm glad I did. I find listening to audio books during my commute to and from work and while cleaning are the best times for me. I've even started listening while grocery shopping. The narrator's voice can make or break it for me. I'd say keep trying until you find something that works.

BTW Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series is what really got me hooked on audio books. The narration is fabulous.


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