My First Audiobook!
I finally did it…I LISTENED to my first ever book!
I have never understood the appeal of an audiobook. I love the feel of a book in my hands! I love turning pages! I love the smell of books (it’s a thing). I love everything about books…why in the world would someone ever want to LISTEN to a book?!?
YEARS ago I wrote a blog post about this very topic. You can read that post HERE.
My First Audiobook
But then a few weeks ago, I went to take a walk. And none of the podcasts that I usually listen to while walking sounded interesting. And I thought, “MAN I wish I could read a book while taking a walk” and then BAM. I realized that perhaps I COULD?!?
I immediately downloaded Audible to my phone and about 5 seconds later I had my pick of what felt like millions of books. That I could LISTEN to while on a walk. Holy crap.
So I picked a book that has been on my list to read for a while (I’ll reveal the title in my next post!) and literally 5 seconds later….it popped up on my phone ready for me to listen.
Daaaaamn that was EASY.
Still skeptical, I started my walk and focused on the story being told to me. And exactly 15 days later I finished listening to the “book”.
CONVENIENT. I listened to bits and pieces of this book whenever I had a few minutes to spare. Driving in my car, folding laundry, out on a walk, making a meatloaf, walking on the track at the gym, etc.
If you have a long commute or a road trip…this would pass the time in such a great way!
The Audible app is SO EASY to use and makes it so easy to listen to pieces here and there.
While reading a physical book, I often go back to passages earlier in the book to help me remember a character, a conversation, etc. Can’t do that with an audiobook!
The narrators disgusing their voices to sound like other characters is cheesy and often times annoying. The man talking like a child, the lady talking like the man, etc. Just when I would start to get used to it, the voice would change! The lady imitating the man’s voice suddenly switched to a male narrator whose voice was completely diffrerent.
When there was a converstaion written like a script, the narrator would say the person’s name first and it was ANNOYING. Here’s an example:
Jenny: I like that shirt.
Amy: Thank you! It was a present!
Jenny: Who gave it to you?
Amy: Beth and Barbara!
Now read that converstaion aloud but actually SAY the names of each person talking first. HOW ANNOYING IS THAT?!? Imagine listening to this conversation for 20 minutes at a time throughout the book. Couldn’t the narrator just have switched voices or something? I hated that.
So here’s the million dollar question and the one that ALL book bloggers disagree on. Does listening to an audiobook count as reading? My answer (although not a popular one…don’t come at me) has always been and continues to be NO. Did I LISTEN to a book? Absolutely. Did I READ a book? I did not. If someone listens to a book and claims they have read it…I mean…that’s not the same thing.
So my final conclusion?
Give me a physical book over an audiobook ANY DAY.
HOWEVER, I kind of loved it.
I suddenly have so much more time in my day for “reading” while doing other things! It’s extremely convenient and I have already started listening to my 2nd audiobook. (Please note that I called it exactly what it is…an AUDIObook. Not a book. Books are entirely different).
This makes me wonder…now that I have ventured into the world of nontraditional book formats, should I mayyyyyyyyyyyybe try reading an ebook???
If you listen to audiobooks, any tips for me? Is Audible the best app for this or is there a better way?
Do you think listening to an audiobook counts as “reading”?
Should I now try finally reading my first ebook?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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11 thoughts on “My First Audiobook!”
I share your unpopular opinion regarding audiobooks, mostly because I’m a stickler for words and their meanings. Reading involves consummation of printed or written words and usually utilizes sight or touch; definitely nothing about listening to spoken words there! Personally, I’m a visual person, so I need to see the words or images (like TV and movies) to be able to fully grasp what’s going on, so audiobooks are out for me. Still, I do like to fantasize about all the books I could be listening to while doing chores, all the stories, I could get to know, even if it means having to go back to the book to figure out what was going on.
Hi! Interesting points! Listening while doing chores has been a GAME CHANGER for me…
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I miss listening to audiobooks. I just don’t have time anymore. I know how you feel about not going back to something you might have missed and also when there are text conversations and they say the person’s name each time. They don’t do that for dialogue though. The worst was with e-mails, when they would read out the e-mail address, date, time, subject line, etc. Overall, I did enjoy the audio experience, but there were some that didn’t work for me so well, like if I couldn’t understand the story because of someone’s accent or when it was such a monotone that it was almost putting me to sleep. My favorite audio narrator is Santino Fontana. He’s a Broadway actor who was on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. If you haven’t read You and Hidden Bodies yet, definitely listen to him narrate those. Soooooo good!!!
I forgot to answer your question….I do think audiobooks count as reading because you’re still experiencing the book and getting the same story either way. I also feel like anyone who is unable to physically read something due to vision problems has audio as their best option and it would definitely count as reading for them.
Ooooh interesting points…
Omg listening to emails sounds AWFUL! Listening to the interview in My Darling Husband was rough at first but I did get more used to it as the story went on…but emails? Ugh, how annoying!
I listen to audiobooks all of the time and I definitely count it as reading the book. You’re still consuming the story whether you are reading it or listening to it and as mentioned in a previous comment for people who can’t physically read audiobooks are their best if not only option and it would count as reading for them.
Yes these are great points…
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I 110% count listening to audiobooks as reading. Saying it’s not reading is telling all those people out there who physically can’t or that it’s hard to read physical books for them that they’re not reading. That dyslexic person over there who has physical difficulty reading but they can listen to a book way easier. Someone who is physically handicapped and can’t hold a book (thinking paralysis here with their arms) is still reading by listening to an audiobook. I don’t think me should diminish and deny people who enjoying listening to or have to their books by audio as not reading.
Thank you so much for sharing your opinion. These are some really great and thought provoking points that you made…
I think there is a huge difference in the quality of audiobook narrators. For example, Jim Dale, one of the original readers for the Harry Potter series, is magical. He does different voices, but they add to the experience, not take away, and he only reads the words in the book. On the other hand, I tried to listen to one of the Harry Potter books in Spanish at one point and had to quit because that reader was ridiculous. Professor McGonogall is not a silly, stupid woman, and he read her that way.
I actually think there are some books that are better as audiobooks. For example, Trevor Noah did the audio version of his book, Born a Crime. How cool is it to have the author read you their own book?!
We know that kids become better readers if they are read to. Obviously there’s good stuff going on when you listen to a good-quality audiobook. Everyone in my family reads books and also listens to audiobooks. They’re good in different ways. It’s like iced coffee vs. hot coffee. Most of us will enjoy both at different times, but some die-hards will only like it one way. Good thing both are available.