You can multitask! I can listen to a book while doing housework, commuting, or walking; and soaking in the bath no longer means steaming up my books. The only thing it’s not a solution to is falling behind on my advanced reader copies.
No skim reading, no missing stuff! Occasionally some books leave me under the impression that I’ve found pages of repeat information I don’t need, and I skim ahead, only to find that the waffle contained a crucial morsel! With an audiobook I don’t miss a thing.
Some narrators are better able to create character voices than my imagination! I always listen to a minute’s worth of the audiobook sample before buying – sometimes, a narrator can turn out to be monotone and boring when compared to my internal reading voice. Thankfully, most books are read by narrators who bring the stories to life, by creating accents and different tones of voice for various characters.
Some audiobooks are full-cast performances. When I downloaded Lisa Mantchev‘s Eyes Like Stars, I loved the sample clip and assumed that the narrator was Cynthia Bishop, little did I know there was a full cast! Having different people do the different character voices was fabulous, and made even more amazing with the sound effects! My review, here.
Audiobooks are storytelling old school! Audiobooks seem like the newer medium for storytelling when compared to books, but there are days gone by when storytelling was mainly an oral tradition. A time before people could read and write, and they sat around campfires telling stories. To this day there are communities that have an oral tradition of passing down stories from one generation to another. Every time someone you know reminisces they tell you a part of their story – usually embellished because that’s how we seem to be wired; most of us are natural storytellers.
Audio books save your eyes a little strain. I’ve gotten eye-strain from reading and all the computer work I do. I used to read with a torch and candlelight during blackouts when I lived in Malawi; I’m not sure why it took three decades for me to end up with glasses. Audiobooks are my way of being a little kinder to my eyes.
They’re less taxing for people with dyslexia: I have a dyslexic friend, and we have a listen along and discuss our selected audiobook at the end.
They’re a great way to introduce kids to the magical worlds created by authors. I still remember the voice of the narrator on my Fairy Tales cassette. Am I showing my age?! CDs didn’t exist when I was five, imagine that! MP3s? They were the stuff of science fiction. I’m able to quote those lines with the same inflexion of the narrator. I wish I could find a copy of that tape now, and figure out who the narrator was because she’s stuck with me for over two decades. I remember willing myself to stay awake for a story, and I already knew the ending! I’d try not to fall asleep, but as with all bedtime stories, that strategy was a losing battle. To this day, I have a difficult time stopping mid-story, cue me reading or listening to the end of the chapter, and another chapter, and another. I wish I’d lose the battle to sleep more readily now as an adult.
Are you a fan of audiobooks? If so, what books would you recommend? If not, what puts you off?
More of my favourite audiobooks:
In The Diviner’s by Libba Bray, narrator January LaVoy manages to create distinct voices for all the characters (check out the cast of characters at: http://thedivinersseries.com/#!/page=Characters. I could go on and on about how excellent the narration is or point to my review, here. Ditto for The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which is narrated by Rupert Degas , click here.
I love Neil Gaiman‘s books, both the YA and non-YA books and it’s one of his non-YA’s in my top 10 audiobooks “Anansi Boy” read by Lenny Henry (link to book on audible.co.uk). Neil Gaiman’s narrates the rest of his books and when I heard him read Stardust it made me experience the story anew.
What are your thoughts on audiobooks?