Thursday 12 June 2014

Thursday Thoughts (5) - Audiobooks


Welcome to my new Weekly post - Thursday Thoughts.

This is going to be a weekly discussion post that I hope will get all my blog readers commenting and giving their opinion. I will pick a topic and write how my thoughts and feelings about it and then hopefully all you lovely readers will leave a comment below with your own opinions.

The only rule I have is that everyone is respectful of each other's opinions, there is no real right or wrong here, this is a chance to experience a topic from someone else's perspective. Please listen to each other and be nice.

If you wish to take a more active part in this discussion and make your own blog post about the topic, I will create a Linky list below that you can link your post to. If more and more people take part - the bigger and better it will become.

Some discussions will be light and silly, others will be more serious but they will all be about books and book related things.

So come on everyone, pull up a chair and lets hear your voice.

This weeks topic is:

 Audiobooks - Do you love to listen?

If you had asked me just over a year ago if I liked audiobooks, I would have confessed that I had never listened to one, but that I had never wanted to either. They had never appealed to me, if I wanted to read a book I could do it myself, I couldn't understand why people would have them. 
But then I was talking to a colleague at work, we were discussing Harry Potter - a much loved subject for both of us, major fans - and I said that I would love to re-read them again (for like the 20th time) but I didn't have the time to read them. I have so many books piled up that I haven't read yet - both review and personal that I couldn't justify spending time reading the HP's again. She then suggested that I listen to them on Audiobook - narrated by Stephen Fry. I like Fry too so thought it would be a great match. I was still hesitant at first but decided that I would have them on in my car - if I was going to be out and about in my car anyway it made sense to use that time listening to a book instead of the radio. And I haven't looked back since. I constantly have a spoken word CD/Audio book playing in my car. Unless someone else is in the car with me my radio is permanently switched to CD with a book playing. 
Over the last year I have listened to the entire Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, the entire Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy, The Long Song by Andrea Levy, the first 2 books so far in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver, and possibly a couple of others but I can't recall them right now. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to them, some were better than others - a lot depends on who is voicing it. Stephen Fry was absolutely incredible - he did all the different voices, put lots of emotion into it and you could tell he loved doing it. The first few Skulduggery Pleasant books were read fantastically by Rupert Degas again he really captured all the characters, but then by book 5 they changed narrator and his voice was very dry and to me unemotive. It really put me off and I found that I wasn't enjoying the story as much because of it. Luckily I have read all the books and love them anyway so it couldn't really put me off, but it still wasn't as good.

Most of the audio books I have listened to so far have been books that I have already read, and it was great to hear them come to life in another way. It really brought the world into another dimension, I could go on long drives and have them feel much shorter with the world of the book around me, inviting me in. 
But I have started listening to other books, books I haven't ever read or even heard of before and that is just as good, in fact I have really enjoyed most of the ones I have tried.

Audiobooks do get a lot of negative comments, some people can judge. I heard someone say that Audiobooks were for people too lazy or stupid to read. Well I'm sorry but that is just offensive. People listen to them for all different reasons. Of course at the library we have quite a large and varied stock and a lot of ours go out to visually impaired people old and young - those not able to read. But we also issue a fair amount to the general public. Anyone who wants one. 
Did someone read to you as a child? A parent, teacher, friend. Many of us have memories of bedtime stories and book time cuddled up together - it's a great time and can be the starting point of anyones love of books. But do you remember how magical it felt to be read to, to have someone else tell you a story and carry you away with their words. Many kids still like to be read to even after they have taught themselves, and in a way I think audiobooks can offer some of that feeling, comfort. There is something really nice about having someone read aloud to you.

I would never replace reading a book myself with audiobooks entirely - don't get me wrong, I still love my physical books and read just as many. And I will never stop doing that. For one thing it is quicker to read a book myself than it is to listen and I can decide on voices etc myself. But there is definitely a place for both.

and the other great thing is that a lot more books are being made into audiobooks these days meaning there is so much more choice - generally something for everyone no matter what age, gender etc. 

So how about you - do you listen to audio books? Have you ever tried it, if not would you consider it? If not - why?
Share the love of the audiobook, they really are magic!


Got your own post? Link it here:

Next Weeks topic will be '"Are you done with that"- Do you give up on books?'

1 comment:

madders ahatter said...

I love e-Audio books for listening on my iPad on the bus to work. I read a physical book at the bus stop, but I get motion sickness if I try to read while the bus is moving. The solution is to have eAudio, which I'm able to borrow from the library. Sometimes I will have the same title - such as when I was reading the Steig Larrson Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. A combination of reading the book and hearing the audio made me feel I was getting through the stories faster - and they are quite hefty tomes. It was also helpful to have somebody read aloud the Swedish places and names that I was clueless how to pronounce.
Definitely room for both with this reader.