Kindle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I don’t know if this has been discussed before or not but I am curious how you view the audiobook. Are you a fan?  If you listen to an audiobook, do you consider the book read?  Or do you still go back at a later time and ‘read’ the title? 

I have been listening to audio books all month while at work, so far I have listened to 7 different titles, working on my 8th. I am new to the audiobook scene, but it allows me to escape while I am at work. 

Just wondering how others view/ use the audio companion.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,881 Posts
I listen to audiobooks quite a lot, as well as reading on my Kindle. I use them to make use of time when I wouldn't normally be able to read, such as when cooking, or doing housework or out for a walk. It's not as anti-social as it sounds as I live alone.

The biggest problem I have with finding suitable audiobooks is finding a narrator I like. I'll pick out a book that sounds really good, then listen to the sample and realise I couldn't stand listening to that voice for hours at a time.

I normally either read or listen to a book and not both, but I do have a few favourite series where I loved it so much I want to read it again, but I have so many books to read I don't want to "waste" time reading something again. So, if it's available on audio and if I like the narrator, I get the audibooks and listen instead.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
67,245 Posts
I don't do audiobooks. I prefer to read.

I do have some audiobooks. We've been known to listen to them on long car rides. But, really, we haven't done that in a long while either as we generally go with whatever is available on the SiriusXM channels. That could be pretty much any kind of music OR old radio plays, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
I am a big fan of audiobooks, I usually always have one in progress. I do consider completed audiobooks as read.... I've never gone back and read the print version.

I also love reading print books and like Linjeakel, I listen to audiobooks when I'm not able to read. I'm also picky about the narration. When I find a narrator I really like, I look for other books by the same narrator. For me bad narration can ruin a good book, so I opt for the print version if I don't care for the narrator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,166 Posts
I don't use audiobooks except on long car trips.  I never just "sit and listen" (except while riding in a vehicle) like I "sit and read", I always feel like I have to be doing something else at the same time.  As a result I get sidetracked and never retain the story as well.

If my eyesight gets to the point I can no longer read with the bolding and font choices of a Kindle, then audiobooks would be a lifeline!  As to whether listening to an entire book counts as "read", I say absolutely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,391 Posts
I only do audio books a little bit, having found that I only like it for fairly light non-fiction: something I can just listen to and not need/want to stop and think, re-read a particularly great passage, etc. Otherwise I'd rather just listen to music if I'm going to listen to something to pass the time or whatever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
I listen to audiobooks while engaging in other activities, like exercise. Unfortunately, I seem to zone out from time to time and end up missing part of the story. This never happens with ebooks. Audiobooks also take much longer to complete. 
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
I do like audiobooks, but they are for the car only.

In the car Ill listen to anything for some reason?

Important thing for me though is a narrator that I can happily listen to for hours on end.  :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,125 Posts
The problem for me with audiobooks is that I read very fast.  Audiobooks are much slower.
So if I'm not in a hurry, or I already know how the books ends, I can listen to books.  Otherwise I'd rather read them myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Andra said:
The problem for me with audiobooks is that I read very fast. Audiobooks are much slower.
So if I'm not in a hurry, or I already know how the books ends, I can listen to books. Otherwise I'd rather read them myself.
I did hear (no pun) that you can speed up audio books.

Or did I? :'(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,391 Posts
WC John said:
I did hear (no pun) that you can speed up audio books.

Or did I? :'(
There are definitely technologies out there that can speed up audio (or slow it down) without altering the pitch -- i.e. not sound like the chipmunks. :) I don't know if Audible or other e-readers provide that? My [barely-educated-] guess is there's a limit in how fast you can go, as listening requires hearing each word in sequence, whereas reading can potentially allow you to see words -- and in particular groups of words -- as quickly as your eye and brain can process them. So I'm wondering if the top speed at which you can listen can ever be as high as that at which fast readers can read? (In fact, I think one of the reasons I'm at best an average-speed reader is that I essentially hear each word as I read it.)

I return you now to your regularly scheduled thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,288 Posts
I had cataracts a number of years ago and I had to reserve what reading I could do for work related stuff so I began listening to audiobooks.  Because of a childhood injury they were unwilling to do lens replacement surgery until it got so bad that it was worth risking blindness.  It went well.

Anyway there was about a 6 year period where I listened to audiobooks because I couldn't read.  Then when I was able to read again I did a bit of it but I still listened to audiobooks until I got my first Kindle in 2009.  At that point I went back to reading and I've been reading ever since.

I still listen to an occasional audiobook, not usually for any particular reason.  I guess I listen to 2 or 3 of them a year.  i read 50 or 60 books a year.  I'm a fairly slow reader but I do read a bit faster than I listen but that really isn't a factor for me.  I read or listen for pleasure and I'm not in any rush.

I think there are some books that work better as audioobooks and others that work better as print books, but most are fine either way.  I also have noticed that when I was listening I would listen to books that I probably wouldn't have read.  Thrillers are fun as audiobooks but I don't really enjoy reading them.  Books with obtuse language are often better when a narrator helps me sort it out.

There are a few books that were so perfectly narrated that if I decide to reread them I'm sure I'll listen.  Jeffery Eugenides' "Middlesex" is a good example of that.  Another is Graham Greene's "Monsignor Quixote".  Probably also "The Girl with the Pearl Earring".  I still have them and I'm sure I'll hear them again in time.  I have the ebooks but I doubt I'll read them.

I think reading and listening can be a pretty different experience but I don't think either is more "real" or legitimate or valid than the other.  A book is a book is a book.  The point of reading novels is pleasure and I think everyone should do what they like.

One problem with audiobooks is that they're very dependent on the quality of the narrator.  About half the narrators are okay and the other half are terrible and, strangely, nobody can ever agree which group any particular narrator belongs to.  Every time I listen to Dick Hill narrate a book I wish I was reading it myself.  He's terrible.  And I do realize that's a minority opinion.  But i'm right and the other people in the world are wrong! :)

George Guidall or Simon Vance can make even poor books a pleasure.

Interestingly, there are some  really good actors who are terrible narrators.  Ed Asner and Bruce Dern, for example.  Life is full of mysteries.  Probably the single worse narration I've ever heard was done by Burt Reynolds, not a great actor but a fun one.

Barry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
barryem said:
Interestingly, there are some really good actors who are terrible narrators. Ed Asner and Bruce Dern, for example. Life is full of mysteries. Probably the single worse narration I've ever heard was done by Burt Reynolds, not a great actor but a fun one.

Barry
Yes to that ;D

Charlton Heston is perhaps my favourite narrator.

Check out - The Snows of Kilimanjaro
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,288 Posts
WC John said:
Charlton Heston is perhaps my favourite narrator.
I had a recording of Charlton Heston reading "The Old Man and the Sea" and I do agree that he does it beautifully.

Barry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I love audio books.  I have my hands free to do something else while enjoying a book (just like back in the day when people would sit around and listen to the radio while doing other things).  Talk about multi-tasking! ;D

And it's less wear and tear on the eyes. 

Sometimes the author reads the book, which is a nice added touch - especially if it's a celebrity or someone we know.

They're also great for people who are visually impaired.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9 Posts
JosephDurham said:
I don't know if this has been discussed before or not but I am curious how you view the audiobook. Are you a fan? If you listen to an audiobook, do you consider the book read? Or do you still go back at a later time and 'read' the title?

I have been listening to audio books all month while at work, so far I have listened to 7 different titles, working on my 8th. I am new to the audiobook scene, but it allows me to escape while I am at work.

Just wondering how others view/ use the audio companion.
Sometimes I listen to audiobooks when I clean in a house or in a car. But honestly speaking, if I don't read it, but listen, I don't consider the book read. So when I like the book that I listened to, I'll surely go back to it and read it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Have found that for fiction the ratio of narrative exposition to dialogue can matter. In texts with a lot of dialogue some audiobook readers feel obliged to pull double duty as a voice actor and adopt speech mannerisms to match each character. The result is sometimes underwhelming, if not unlistenable. They may not go so far as to try on accents, but there's nevertheless a substantial change in the sound of what's spoken to indicate: SOMEONE ELSE IS TALKING NOW. It's usually apparent without any overegged thesp stuff.

An example of dialogue-light fiction working well when read aloud is Against Nature by JK Huysmans, which in an Audible recording gets a fine reading by Nicholas Boulton.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top