Aug 15 2012

Why I Like (But Also Sometimes Hate) Audio Books

Posted by Mathias in General Things

I like audio books. I am not afraid to admit to it. In fact, most of my reading these days comes in the form of listening to audio books.

Why I like audio books is no great secret.

1. During the course of my two hour commute every week day, I get two hours of reading in. No kids screaming, no wife constantly interrupting me to fix something. It’s just me, the audio book, my car, and that moron in front of me who is now cutting me off. HEY! Buddy, would it kill you to use a turn signal?

2. It eliminates the stumbling we all have when reading something for the first time. I don’t care how good of a reader you claim to be, but when you read something you have never read before, you always stumble. Especially if the author writes in longer sentences. I hate having to reread something twice just to get it right in my mind. An audio book solves this problem as you listen to an already fluid narration which is like the one in your mind when you read.

3. Audio books are easy to store. Being digital, like ebooks, I can put five or ten on my Kindle Fire an take them all with me without lugging around paper copies of the books.

4. I tend to finish books faster, finding that I can listen to an audio book longer than I can read on my own without taking a break! This means I can read more!

Now, why I sometimes hate audio books:

1. Hackneyed accents given to characters! Why is it that so many people that narrate audio books feel the need to make every dwarf/person of lower upbringing sound like they come from the Scottish Highlands?

2. That they often come out after, sometimes long after, the original book is released. I’ve had to put off more than a few new releases while waiting for the audio version of the book to be put up on sites like Audible.com

3. Back to narrators again! Some of them are just poor. Sure, they deliver the lines, but they sometimes do so in a manner than is flat and boring. It kills even a good book to have to listen to a poor narrator.

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