Pros and cons of audiobooks

Audiobooks Rock

Audiobooks Rock (Photo credit: Lester Public Library)

Until recently, I have not been a big fan of audiobooks.  Part of the joy of reading, for me, is being able to choose the pace.  If a book is action packed, I’m more likely to tear through it, reading as fast as possible (The Hunger Games, for example).  If a book has a slower plot, and is lyrically written, I tend to read slowly.  I take breaks and think about word choice and sentence structure.  I might even flip back to a previous passage.  I found it difficult to rewind an audiobook to find one line that I hadn’t heard.  I also tend to space out while listening and miss huge chunks of the plot.

Katniss Everdeen changed all that.  When I finished reading The Hunger Games, I NEEDED to read the next book in the series.  Unfortunately, the print copy of Catching Fire was out, but the audio was available.  I decided to give it a try.  Although listening to an audiobook took some getting used to (the narrator’s voice didn’t jive exactly with how I had pictured the main character’s voice)  I noticed the benefits of listening right away.  I put in the first disc and put the dishes away.  I swept the floor and folded laundry.  When all the housework was done, I had time to play with Katniss (our new kitten).  By the way, there will be pictures of her coming soon!!!

I then moved on to Delirium by Lauren Oliver.  This book got me through the worst flu/cold/virus I have ever had.  My next audio pick is Pandemonium (the sequel to Delirium) and I’m sure it will entertain me while I go on a mini-road trip this weekend.

Many of our child and tween patrons love listening to books on CD during long car rides or while doing chores around the house.  Following along to an audiobook while reading can be a good way for ESL students to work on pronunciation.

While I still prefer to read books, I’m glad that I have found a place for audiobooks in my life.  I prefer to listen to fast-paced stories that are narrated in first-person.  Do you enjoy audiobooks?  Feel free to leave a recommendation in the comments.

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4 Comments

Filed under the joys of reading

4 responses to “Pros and cons of audiobooks

  1. Best audiobook I ever heard (I routinely drive from ATL to NYC so I have found audiobooks to be essential on those long drives) — Into Thin Air.
    It was positively gripping — and kept me cold in July driving thru North Carolina! Also loved Lobster Chronicles, in an entirely different vein. I think the best ones are those that are either really kinda dumb “Big Ass Sweet Potato Queen” leaps to mind, or a detective novel, or something really thrilling. Oh — and Grisham books are also top-rate!!

  2. Wow, that is a VERY long drive. Thanks for the suggestions! The story definitely needs to keep my attention to be successful as an audiobook.

  3. I agree with you about audiobooks being useful for learners of other languages- they help with pronounciation and make it easier to pick up different registers.

    Delirium sounds like an interesting book title. I’ll look out for details of that one. ‘Dissolution’ by Sansom is wonderfully done as an audiobook. The narrator’s voice held me spell-bound for the duration of the (fairly long) book.

  4. I wish I had realized the usefulness of audiobooks when I was studying Spanish!

    Delirium is a youth fiction book by Lauren Oliver. It’s set in a dystopian society where love is viewed as a disease that needs to be cured. If you are open to youth fiction you should give it a try. I’m about half way through the sequel (Pandemonium) right now. I’ll check to see if we have “Dissolution” in the collection 🙂

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