Notes on an audiobook (and Read Harder Challenge #16)

photoI’m finally practicing what I preach and getting stuck into audiobooks – and, as a bonus, it ticks off the audiobook component of the Read Harder challenge. Previously, I had only listened to non-fiction, but I just recently finished my first fiction book on audiobook and here are some of my random thoughts:

  • I had no idea that a person’s voice could be so distracting
  • It’s almost impossible to build romantic tension when the person who’s reading it keeps putting on a stupid ‘boy’ voice
  • Do people do those voices in their heads when they are reading with their eyes? I don’t…at least not that I’ve realised
  • I felt like I understood everything that was going on, and didn’t miss any major plot points, until right near the end when I realised I missed a MAJOR plot point – hard to know whether the mention of it was so subtle that I might have missed it even if I had been reading it with my eyes, or whether I zoned out and missed something really obvious. (Side  note, after some furious Googling, it seems like I wasn’t the only dummy who missed it)
  • It’s very hard to rate an audiobook on its own without rating the entire experience
  • While it’s entirely possible to be annoyed with the person narrating and still enjoy the book, the question must be asked, how much more would I have enjoyed it if I hadn’t been so distracted/frustrated/baffled by the narrator?
  • While I’m open to trying lots of things, I do think that while I’m getting used to the format I should stick to YA and non-fiction – and nothing too complicated from either of those genres, as I’m sure if the prose was too purple, I would be much more inclined to zone out. But I did think I zoned out way less than I expected to
  • This is a bit of a moot point (not mute, cos, well, you know, I’m talking about audio here) because Borrow Box have sorted their shit out, but initially there was no 30 second skip forward or back, which I found out the hard way when I just hit the back key and it went all the way to the start of the chapter, and of course I had no idea where I was up to in the chapter and oh my gosh could the slide function be any less sensitive and user-friendly?
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2 replies »

  1. I am honestly not a big fan of audio books for the reasons you mentioned. It is just too distracting and I feel I can’t concentrate on what is happening with the book.

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    • I think it’s a format that will take a bit of getting used to, and will very much depend on the narrator, but I did really enjoy it. It was great for commuting and saved me lugging a book around with me everywhere I go. SO convenient! I think the concentration thing just takes practice

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