Discussion Time: Some Thoughts on Audiobooks

Discussion

1) The narrator can make or break and audiobook for you. I’m just going to state the obvious up front. Sometimes, as with The Wrath and the Dawn or The House of Hades, I can tell the book is objectively amazing, but the narrator is just a little too flat, or not very good at character voices, and as a result I love the story a little less. Other times, as with Snow Like Ashes or The Scorpio Races, the narrator is spot-on and actually makes me like the book better than I would have otherwise.

2) Audiobooks take a very long time. Another fairly obvious point, and one of my least favorite aspects of being an audiobook reader. It usually takes me 1-2 weeks to finish and average 12-hour audiobook. Sometimes, around the halfway point of the story, I want to start listening to something else, or I start wondering when the book will be over already.

3) You can listen to audiobooks at times when you wouldn’t be able to pick up a regular book. Now let’s move on to something I LOVE about audiobooks. I can listen to them when I’m eating, or doing chores, or walking to class. As a result, I have time for more books in my life, which is always a good thing.

4) Audiobooks can be such an intense experience. Maybe this is just me, but when you’re in the right mood for it, try turning out all the lights in your room, lying in bed, and listening to an audiobook you love. If it works, you can get immersed in the world that much more strongly.

5) Somehow, your OTP kissing in an audiobook adds a little more excitement to an already exciting event. Again, maybe this is just me. But the OTP kisses I’ve freaked out the most about–as in, jumping up and down and making tiny little whale noises–are Alek/Deryn in Behemoth and Luke/Elliot in Wings in the Morning, both of which I listened to on audio. Possibly, this is because audiobooks force me to take everything slowly, increasing the anticipation. Or maybe I’m just weird.

6) Audiobooks are really freaking expensive. This generally isn’t a problem for me, since my library has a really large e-audiobook collection. But once in a while I’ll really want to listen to something they don’t have, and I’ll look up the price online and spend the rest of the day being very sad.

7) Concentrating on audiobooks can be hard. This, and the narrator not working out, tend to be the biggest issues I’ve heard from people who aren’t into audiobooks. This particular thing isn’t usually a problem for me (which is strange, actually, since I’m normally terrible at paying attention). Still, it happens to me sometimes, and it sucks to zone out for five minutes and realize you missed something that’s actually kind of important.

8) Be careful when listening to audiobooks in public! I’ve already mentioned the somewhat embarrassing public reactions I had to my favorite fictional couples kissing in audiobooks. I’ve also read audiobooks with extremely sad scenes in public, and generally it ended with me sitting on the sidewalk with tears in my eyes, trying to process what had just happened. I got a more than a few strange looks.

9) Full-cast audio is a thing! It’s exactly what it sounds like–there’s an actor reading the voice of every separate character. I haven’t heard a whole lot of full-cast audiobooks, but I’ve loved the ones I’ve heard–it’s a little like a movie playing in your brain. My personal favorites are The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale and The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. GraphicAudio has a whole bunch of Brandon Sanderson ones, but unfortunately they are painfully expensive.

10) Personally, I am a huge fan of audiobooks. You know, just in case you couldn’t tell from my moments of fangirling and references to the many audiobooks I’ve heard. Audiobooks mean that I can read more, and that I can enjoy a different experience. If you haven’t given audiobooks a chance yet, I highly recommend you try it. 

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