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Midway Through My First Audiobook Adventure

After featuring ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE TO REMIND ME by Beth Harbison in my Waiting on Wednesday post a few weeks back, I received an email from a publicist at Macmillan Audio asking if I’d like to review the audiobook. I was *this close* to turning the opportunity down before I decided to give audiobooks a try.

I’m not sure why I’ve never caught onto the audiobook craze…it’s obviously a convenient option; listen in the car, listen at the gym, listen on the beach, listen at the pool. The list goes on. But for some reason, I’d never given them a try. So after thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided to accept the audiobook for review. Why not, right?

And I’m SO glad I did.

First off, the book is REALLY good (but more on that in a review to come; I’m only halfway through the CD’s so far). But second, while nothing will ever replace the feeling of a book in my hand, listening to an audiobook is pretty awesome.

Let me outline some of the pros and cons thus far:

Pros:

-I absolutely love the convenience of listening to an audiobook. In the past week, I’ve listened to the audiobook multiple times at the gym, in my car and at the pool. Can I just say how much I adore listening to this audiobook at the gym? It makes me workout a billion times more pleasant and enjoyable.

-Carrying around an entire book on my iPod is awesome.My iPod is often easier to tuck away in a small handbag than a book (though you’ll often find me with at least one book on hand at all times).

-I like that I can listen to an audiobook and also read another book on the side. I usually struggle with reading two books at once, but for some reason, I can read a book and listen to an audiobook at the same time with no problem.

-Perfect for those lazy summer days. At the pool this weekend, my eyes were tired and I didn’t feel like reading anymore. I wanted to just rest my eyes and soak up the sun; this audiobook was the perfect companion.

-It’s fun! While one of the best parts about reading is imagining the setting and characters in your mind, it’s been sort of fun to be read to (haven’t had anyone read to me since I was little!) and have the story form effortlessly in my head.

Cons:

-Focusing on listening is hard. When I have my iPod on, it’s usually to drown out some other sound or to distract me while running. Same with the radio in the car. It’s background noise. I found myself really having to force myself to listen until my brain got used to it. Sometimes I catch my mind drifting off and have to pull myself back into the story. It’s not difficult; it’s just that I have to make a concerted effort.

-At first, I struggled with the narrator’s voice. Since I’ve always read books and imagined the character’s voices in my head, it was difficult to adjust to a complete stranger deciding how the character’s spoke. It took me a few chapters to finally adjust to her voices, but now it’s smooth sailing.

-The CD has skipped a few times and every time it does, I shake my head and think to myself, “Real books don’t skip.”

But ultimately, I think the pros outweigh the cons. I’m really enjoying my first audiobook…it’s a completely different and new kind of reading experience, but one that I’m glad I tried. I can definitely see myself reading and reviewing more audiobooks in the near future.

*Stay tuned for my review of ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE TO REMIND ME*

What do you think of audiobooks? Love them or hate ’em?

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7 thoughts on “Midway Through My First Audiobook Adventure”

  1. This Friday I start a new job where I will be in the car a minimum of three hours a day. I would love to hear your suggestions for good audiobooks. Do you use your iPod through a FM receiver or play a CD (you mention both)?

    1. @Jen, Hi Jen! When I’m in the car, I pop in a CD, but I also have it all loaded up on my iPod so I can listen at the gym!

  2. My experience with audiobooks is pretty limited, but I think I’d enjoy them for all the pros you mentioned! I actually won a copy of Emily Giffin’s Heart Of The Matter on audio, promptly put it on my iPod . . . and then could never finish it. The only time I’m really sitting down with my iPod on is at work, and then I’m too busy focusing on what I’m writing/editing to really listen to a story. It was far too distracting for me.

    I think I would definitely enjoy an audiobook for the gym, though, and at other workout times! When whatever I’m doing doesn’t require serious concentration and I can relax into the story.

  3. I’ve yet to review an audiobook. Colour me crazy, but I’m rather scared! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it though! 🙂

  4. I love audiobooks and I have a lot of success with them and the kids on long trips. i just throw in there favorite books and away we go.

  5. Jessica, I just read this story from the link in Audiobook Business News. When you finish the review, please link it to Audiobook Jukebox. We index publicly available audiobook reviews on the web. We also just launched a reviewer program (Solid Gold Reviewers) to get current audiobook releases into the hands/ears of skilled reviewers. Macmillan is one of our participants in this pilot. We have 9 publishers participating initially and another dozen on the fence monitoring how this works. We’d love you to review audiobooks and hope your experience is good. On our site, we have a link for tips in reviewing audiobooks. On our Facebook page, I wrote a series of entries in June during June Is Audiobook Month as to what I like to see in audiobook reviews. Take care! –JEFF

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I live by the saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and help others do the same to reach their biggest, brightest goals. Read my story here.

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