Your Audiobook Year

Monday, June 25, 2012


Hello, my name is Melissa and I’m an audiobook addict. I’ve loved audiobooks ever since my Dad encouraged me to try them when I was in high school. I didn’t listen to them regularly until my first summer home from college. I took a job running an exterior house painting crew (I know, odd). One of my main duties was to canvas local neighborhoods and give estimates. I hated the job, but I loved being able to listen to audiobooks all day as I drove around.

As far as places I listen, I feel like they’re endless! Obviously the car is a major one, but my commute is incredibly short. I listen while taking a shower and getting ready in the morning. Also while doing dishes and cleaning the house. I love listening while I walk my dog or play fetch with him. The options are infinite!

I get almost all of my audiobooks at book sales or by borrowing them from the library. I keep one in my car and another in my house. I may be one of the last people in the world still listening to audio cassettes. I can find them so cheaply at library book sales and I still have a few audio cassette players.

I would also like to add that some people claim listening to audiobooks isn’t actually reading them. To them I say this; the great tradition of story telling was around long before written books were available. Odysseus’ travels and Arthurian legends were shared in front of fireplaces before anyone took the time to record them on paper. I can’t imagine anyone claiming those people didn’t know the stories they heard.

Sometimes listening to an audio version of a book makes me appreciate the writing more because you have to listen to every word instead of skimming a paragraph. It also gives me a deeper appreciation for favorite books that I’ve already read in print version.

I’m currently listening to Alan Rickman reading The Return of the Native and Wil Wheaton reading Ready Player One. Both are absolutely excellent and I would highly recommend them.

This post is part of Audiobook Week hosted by Devourer of Books

Image from here.

29 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I am never without an audio book either -- love them. I am currently listening to John Irving's new book, IN ONE PERSON - so far so good:)

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love your response to those that say audios aren't "reading"! And OMG, Alan Rickman narrates audio books? ACK!!!! I need to investigate. He has an amazing voice. I'd agree with Wil Wheaton...he hits this audio out of the park.

Jeanne said...

I couldn't believe it when I picked up Return of the Native at the library and saw it was read by Rickman. We have loved Harry Potter read by Jim Dale, and got the audiobook of The Night Circus because he also reads it.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so how do you listen in the shower??

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

WHOOPS, that comment about the shower was from me, sorry.

annieb said...

I wish I could listen to audio books, but I just can't do it. There isn't anything wrong with my hearing but I just don't seem to comprehend the same way as I do with the written page. I also can't have music or the television on when I read. And, although I hate to admit it, it probably has something to do with age in the sense that I was brought up with no television as a child and while I listened to stories on the radio that was usually only on Saturday mornings, and movies, well movies were different altogether. I got used to reading as a singular activity and never adapted. However, having said that, I know many people my age and older who love audio books while traveling and I don't even like them then--it's music for me. Just another view.

Care said...

ha! How did I miss that shower comment! too funny. I don't like to hear the water running when I do dishes and attempt to listen. I always shut off the audio then - I don't like my earbuds so avoid them if possible - only when walking the dogs and mowing do the earbuds work for me. Maybe I'll get used to it...

I still think it odd that my neighbor looked at me quizzically when I told her I was listening to an audiobook, she said, 'but I thought you liked to read books.' Isn't that an odd response?

Alison's Book Marks said...

Absolutely agree with you how an audiobook can make you appreciate the story even MORE - I felt that way with several of the audiobooks that I listened to this year, but it's never so pronounced as when I get an audio that takes place in another place/time.

Kristi said...

I've yet to try to any audiobooks. I really really hope to get the courage up to start soon. Maybe I'll do the audible thing. My library has a really minimal selection.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Diane - I just finished his Hotel new Hampshire on audio. He tends to be hit or miss for me.

Sandy - I know! Rickman on audio is just divine.

Jeanne - Sometimes when I read the hardcopy books of HP I hear Jim Dale reading it in my head.

Jen - Ha, it's actually one of my favorite places to listen. Your brain is on autopilot because washing your hair, etc. is something you're used to doing without much thought. So I have a stereo that sits on my bathroom counter and I just start the book before I get in and make sure it's loud enough. It works great for me.

annieb - You're not alone. I think it's really hard for some people to concentrate on what's happening in the audio while doing something else. It just depends on the way your brain processes things. I wonder if it works so well for me because I started doing it when I was young.

Care - That is such an odd response. I've had people tell me they thought audiobooks were only for old people who couldn't read text anymore. I thought that was so strange.

Alison's Book Marks - Isn't that wonderful! I love listening to the audio of a book after reading a hardcopy and loving it. It makes me notice different things about the story and writing.

Kristi - I am so lucky that my library has an incredibly huge selection. If you do start, maybe try a book you've already read to ease yourself in. The HP book are extremely well done!

Emily said...

Oh my gosh, Alan Rickman narrates?! I'm definitely going to have to pick this one up!!!

I never thought that audio wasn't reading, but I used to be annoyed with how slow narrators were. I can read much faster than they do. But now, I recognize audiobooks as a totally different experience. And I often enjoy novels more that are in audio form for the exact reason you mentioned. I can't skim.

Literate Housewife said...

I really and truly believe that Audiobook Week is a plot by everyone to finally get me to read READY PLAYER ONE. It's so beloved!

I'm curious about how you listen in the shower. I've tried, but the volume is way too low for me. Do you have a special player?

Trish said...

The other day I had a moment of panic when I realized that I ditched ALL of my cassette tapes in a purge. What was I thinking? For posterity!! The horror.

Just caught Jennifer's comment about listening in the shower. You guys ARE addicted. ;) Too funny.

Kristin said...

I can't get in the car now without having an audio book going. And now I also have one always going on the iPod, which I take with me to the gym or while doing work outside. I've also been known to listen while in the shower, too!

I agree with your point about really listening to every word with the audio books. Very true!

Kristin @ Always With a Book

Squeak Torres said...

Reading in the Shower? As soon as I get running water I am testing that out!

Happy AudioBook Week!

Dorothy - The Alaskan Bookie - Squeak
Blog ~ http://alaskanbookie.blogspot.com/
Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/AkChocoholic

JoAnn said...

I love audiobooks and always have one or two in progress, but I never considered listening in the shower, LOL!

wordsandpeace.com said...

Thanks, I may try to listen to The Return of The Native. here is my post, with my 3 favorites since last year: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/06/25/2011-2012-my-audiobook-year/

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Emily - It is such a different experience. Wonderful, but I don't like reading really engrossing mysteries on audio because I can't curl up and devour the whole thing in an evening.

Literate Housewife - Ha, I'm so glad I'm in the middle of it right now, because I keep seeing it everywhere! I don't have a special player. I can't listen to my iPod in the shower because I can't ever get it loud enough, but I listen to an old cassette stereo.

Trish - Oh no, you didn't! I get rid of them after I read them, but I have a big shelf of them right now. They're pretty hard to find.

Kristin - I listened to lots of audiobooks on my iPod as well. I love being able to have one with me all the time!

Squeak Torres - I hope it works for you! It's a great way to get a little extra reading in.

JoAnn - I always have two going as well, one in my house and one in my car.

wordsandpeace - Great list! I loved The Forgotten Garden.

Nise' said...

I always have an audiobook going in the bathroom and would listen in the shower, but have stopped for the summer since my neighbor asked me who was talking so loud in the bathroom. They could hear it on their back deck! LOL

Alysia said...

You are like the 100th person to mention Ready Player One. Ok! I'm getting it. Thanks! And by the way did you say cassettes? (I just had to spell check that. LOL!!)

Carrie K. said...

I loved Ready Player One! And Alan Rickman reading an audiobook? Swoon!

Arti said...

I'd love to listen Alan Rickman read, anything. I've also joined Audioweek for the first time. Regarding the difference bet. reading a book and listening to it, I've pondered long and hard and have come up with some thoughts. Yes, storytelling is a long and ancient tradition of human civilization, but reading and listening offer two diff. experiences. You're welcome to my post Dances with Words where I explore the idea. ;)

Michelle (my books. my life.) said...

I get most of mine from the library as well (and I also have had a job painting houses).

I have Return of the Native on my computer. I really need to listen soon.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Audio books add to the book experience I think on a whole different level.

Camilla P. said...

I sometimes listen to a radio programm which broadcast readings from the most different books, and I like it a lot, but I've never tried a real audiobook, though I'm very curious. I should give it a try, I'm pretty sure I'd like it a lot :)

Rob said...

I grew up with my dad listening to audiobooks all the time (I still remember around 40 cassettes for The Lord of the Rings), but I only just started listening to them myself in the last year.

I can't believe I waited so long! I love being able to read more, and I love the added bonus of hearing a professional perform the work. There's a few books I think I've enjoyed more on audio than I would have otherwise.

I've had a few people bring up the idea that audiobooks are somehow cheating, but I personally think if you see it that way you're approaching reading wrong. It's not a competition.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Nise' - That is hilarious! If my neighbors could hear mine I would probably stop too. The Huz leaves for work before I do in the morning, so luckily he isn't bothered by it.

Alysia - Ha, seriously I'm the last cassette listener in the world. The Huz found an old cassette player on ebay for me when my last one broke.

Carrie K - That voice! I could listen to him read a phone book.

Arti - I agree it is a different experience than reading the printed pages, but I still process the book and take in the whole story. I'll def check out your post on it.

Michelle - Too funny. There can't be that many of us in the book blogging world that did something in house painting at some point.

Sheila - They do, but I understand why they don't work for everyone.

Camilla P. - I like podcasts, but I alwayas find myself wishing I was listening to another book.

Rob - Exactly, what are they talking about when they say audiobooks don't "count." Count towards what? It's not a competition!

Jenners said...

Pooh pooh on those who say audiobooks don't count as reading. In fact, like you said, I think you get almost MORE detail from the book because you have to go at a certain pace. And a good narrator can elevate a book to a whole other level. It was a revelation to me to discover how wonderful audiobooks can be … and how they can make the most mundane activities bearable. I'm impressed you limit yourself to those two sources though -- my library is romance and silly mystery city so I've been force to branch out to Audible. I don't even have a tape player either!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jenners - I would love to use Audible one day, but right now it's a bit too expensive. I go through so many audiobooks that I can't pay $10 or so for one. I'm really lucky my library has such a fantastic selection.