Musing Monday – Audiobooks?
This week’s Musing Monday question is: Do you listen to audiobooks? Why, or why not?
I have and I enjoy them intensely. But, they do take a certain amount of concentration. It’s rather like listening to a teacher give a lecture. You are trying to retain information being spoken to you. I don’t listen to audiobook in the car because of this. I think it’s just as distracting, if not more so, than talking on your cell phone.
But, at work or out walking I listen to audiobooks all the time. I find it a great way to knock out those books I really want to read but don’t have time for. Multitasking at its finest. I used to have an Audible.com account but I wasn’t using the credits fast enough (even one credit a month) and ended up canceling it because I wasn’t really using it. There are so many resources on the ‘net where I could find audiobooks for free that I didn’t need it.
The trick is to make sure the narrator is to your liking. I had to stop a book once because the narrator’s voice just drove me up the wall. Then you’ll find those narrators who are really good at it. For example, Neil Gaiman reads all his books himself. Sometimes having the author read their own books is an advantage because they know what tone to use and where to place inflection on the words just right. They wrote it, after all. But Neil Gaiman is a master at the audiobook. His voice is very soothing and the dry wit of some of his books comes across perfectly. I also love me some British accent. (I should stop before I declare my undying love for Neil Gaiman’s voice.)
So, audiobooks are a great way to be reading on the go. I’ve gone through the whole of Sherlock Holmes and the Jeeves books by audiobook. LibriVox.org is a great place to find free audiobooks. It’s all public domain, so the books are old but that means they also have all the classics. I have “read” Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and several other classic books I wouldn’t have had the patience to sit down and read by listening to the audiobook while at work.