So, I think I like Audiobooks. I mean I do like them, but that’s a recent thing. Up until about February, I had this rather harsh opinion of them, though that’s changed – at least a little.
Now, February wasn’t my first foray into the world of audiobooks, even if it’s my most successful. I’ve had the iTunes versions of audiobooks since I got my first iPod way, way, way back when (I miss you, Jim – my little green Nano). I remember buying Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Breaking Dawn, with a voucher I got for Christmas. I already had the music I liked on CDs and I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted at the time. I had such an imagination back then. I’ve listened to them both several times over the years, but they mostly stay forgotten in the depths of my iTunes library. At one point, I had a free month trial with Audible – I do love a free trial, although I don’t think I’ve ever listened to that first book I got.
I have had several points of argument against audiobooks in the past and I still stand by some of them. First and foremost, is the price; unless you’re able to pay the £7.99 a month for an Audible subscription and are willing to wait a month between each book purchase then the audiobooks are going to cost you a pretty penny. Even though each credit saves you money on most audiobooks; you would still be paying more for it than you would for most movies. Don’t get me wrong, the price is justifiable, but then again, you could argue that that it would be just as worth your while to buy the actual physical book.
Another issue I have, which may just be my own personal irritation, but still a negative for me. I can’t listen to an audiobook and read a book at the same time, I can’t write either. It’s frustrating. Idle hands and all. I get to fidgety to just sit and listen. Usually, I’ll listen to audiobooks while going to work – but I don’t want to listen to them every day. But then I’ll switch to listening to music and I’ll give up on the audiobook, probably to be forgotten about, that is a problem with not having a physical book in my hand. It’s harder to get back into a book you can’t skim read.
Sometimes, I’m really thankful for the timer option on the Audible app (#notspon by the way). The timer is good if you want someone to read you to sleep. It helps me to stop thinking so much when I’m trying to get comfortable. Though nothing quite beats the smell and feel of a book, audiobooks save me the tension headaches brought on by a reading binge. Audiobooks are also considerably lighter than a hardback, and they take up much less space. The fact that it’s also a hands-free experience means I can listen while travelling and/or washing up (they were the only things I could think off right now).
Part of me does wonder if listening to an audiobook constitutes as reading one. When you hear it from someone else’s voice it puts another level between yourself and the text. Perhaps that’s why I generally go for audiobooks read by the author. I don’t know. I’m still consuming all of the text and experiencing the story, but the way the words are spoken are a filter on the text, whether they intend to or not. It’s something to think about.