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Audio books are just not the same?!

(62 Posts)
JacktomyDaniel Mon 04-Mar-19 21:16:38

I’m desperately trying to get into audiobooks. I’m an avid reader and can lose myself for hours (or could if I didn’t have the kids!) in a good book. Recently I’ve been struggling with lack of motivation to do anything and anxiety and a few people recommended this. Lie back, eye mask on and listen. I want to love it but can’t. I feel like a child being read to with all the different voices and the slow pace. Is it worth persevering? Would I be unreasonable just to give up a couple of chapters in?

IWantChocolates Mon 04-Mar-19 22:20:35

I listened to audiobooks while pregnant and finding it hard to sleep (saved me putting a light on and waking DH). It definitely depends which narrator you get but I found some great ones on YouTube with no adverts that were perfect ('Libravox' recording?). I've listened to some classics that I'd probably never have read otherwise.

binkyblinky Mon 04-Mar-19 22:21:26

I LOVE audio books. I listen to them and crochet. Last year I listened to over a month worth of books!

ZippyBungleandGeorge Tue 05-Mar-19 02:06:04

I like them if I'm doing something else; driving, cooking, gardening, makes household chores more bearable. If I could be reading an actual book though I prefer it, I just don't get as much time as I used to, an audiobook is a good way of multi tasking. The only exception is an autobiography read by the person, these are better as audiobooks because it is like someone just telling you about their life

JacktomyDaniel Tue 05-Mar-19 03:01:21

Thanks everyone. If I’m being honest was looking for a way to sit and relax without wine! I failed and fell asleep tonight!!
Will keep for other tasks and try some other strategies for unwinding at night

hazell42 Tue 05-Mar-19 07:23:32

I love both. I can only listen to audio books whilst doing something else. Walking, driving, cleaning. Then I can lose myself in a good audio book. I definitely couldn't put an eye mask on and listen
I'd be asleep in 5 mins. You do need a good narrator though. Some of the free recordings done by volunteers are bloody awful

GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal Tue 05-Mar-19 07:29:59

I love them but I couldn't just sit down and listen to one, I have to be doing something. I find they're perfect for housework - which I find very boring otherwise, and doesn't require much concentration so I can follow the story.

TheQueef Tue 05-Mar-19 07:35:11

I second listening to a book you've already read.
I like to listen to GOT if I'm distracted or if it's a new book sit in the kitchen and listen properly until I get enthralled.

If you are trying Audible don't forget you can return the book of you don't like it.

Justonemorepancake Tue 05-Mar-19 07:39:12

Rather than rewatching seasons 1-6 of game of thrones I am listening to them (never read the books) Loving it but it's a lot of hours to get through!

BarkandCheese Tue 05-Mar-19 07:48:20

I like to listen to them while cooking or doing chores, but I can’t just sit and listen, and if I listen to them in bed I fall asleep. I’ve found complex, nuanced fiction difficult to follow because I’m doing other things, however Jilly Cooper is perfect.

bananabagel Tue 05-Mar-19 08:56:52

I read a lot and I really enjoy audiobooks but I always had them as a child. I do think some literary books don't work as well as an audiobook and that I'd rather read them. Some of the performances are rubbish or the sound quality is poor so I try to be selective.

I use them when I'm cleaning, walking or doing a task that does not require too much thought. My recommendation would be to start with something that is a more straightforward narrative read by an actor you like.

downcasteyes Tue 05-Mar-19 14:48:44

I think some books are much more suited to being audiobooks than others. I suspect really trashy reads aren't that well suited, because you're just reading to turn pages, really, and you can do that so much faster with a paper book. Something a bit more substantial and rewarding by the kind of prose stylist whose work sounds good out loud can be great though!

DarlingNikita Tue 05-Mar-19 15:23:09

I find it hard too. Without anything to look at, my mind wanders and I get tempted by fiddling with my fingernails/rings/phone/etc.

Also, a lot of them are abridged and I really don't see the point of listening to an incomplete version.

I didn't know you could return Audible books shock

Zwischenwasser Tue 05-Mar-19 18:45:55

I totally agree with the others who say that the audio books that work for you won’t necessarily be the same as the ones you would want to read.

Narrator makes a bigger difference than the book to me tbh. I’d definitely say to get an audiobook of a book you have read, then it won’t matter if you zone out or fall asleep as you already know the plot.

If you fancy a challenge and you did a Language GCSE at SchooI you’d almost certainly be able to follow a teens/ young adult novel in that languagE. Audible has a good selection of books in French, German Italian , Spanish and Russian.

Sybil606 Tue 05-Mar-19 23:04:01

Try podcasts! I was wanting to get into audio books but can't stand most of the mundane and monotone voices used. I like an audio book with different voices or with at least some varying degree of lilt to their voice when reading. Fed up of searching I turned to podcasts! What a surprise! Try it may surprise you as it did me!

YesQueen Tue 05-Mar-19 23:43:58

I hate them. Hated being read to as a child and don't like someone trying to read something out to me blush
I read fast though over 1000wpm so I think that's why it annoys me

MsAwesomeDragon Tue 05-Mar-19 23:49:45

I love them, but only when I'm doing something else as well. So I listen to an audio book while I'm driving, or out for a walk (like walking to train station type walking, not if I'm out in the country and wasn't to listen to nature). Last week I was decorating and I listened to 3 audiobooks while I was sanding and painting. I loved it, time to myself, doing something productive but not getting bored while doing it.

I do still prefer reading for myself, as I read quicker than they do, and I like imagining my own voices for the characters. But listening is an alternative for when I can't physically read because I'm busy.

pallisers Tue 05-Mar-19 23:53:57

I think they are an entirely different experience..

I use them primarily when I am driving. I've listened to slow-moving books that I might have given up on if I was reading them. Wendall Berry's Collected Stories is one - it was wonderful - I loved getting into the car every day. But I doubt I would have read it. So in some ways that audio book was better.

It is a very different experience though. I couldn't listen to a book if I could have one in my hands instead.

bumblingbovine49 Tue 05-Mar-19 23:57:06

I prefer podcasts books. I love those and listen to lots of different sorts. They are the main reason I would really miss my phone if I didn't have it.

Calvinsmam Tue 05-Mar-19 23:58:11

I love audiobooks.

I always have a non fiction and a fiction book on my kindle and then an audiobook on audible, at any one time.

I listen to them while I’m cleaning or cooking or walking to work.
My house is always spotless if I have a good audiobook on the go, if I’m not enjoying my book my house gets neglected 😂

Me and my sister share an audible and kindle account and when we talk about books we always have to say If we read it with our eyes or ears.

HomeMadeMadness Tue 05-Mar-19 23:59:47

I like biographies via audiobook (especially autobiographies read by the author) but I couldn't read anything that wasn't quite light.

EllenOlenska Tue 05-Mar-19 23:59:52

There are various ones by Agatha Christie read by Hugh Fraser that are very good. has quite a few on their site.
They also have the ones done by David Suchet and a lot of the BBC drama adaptations (if that's your thing) though it's clear there is a wealth of audio of many genres on there.
I'm re-listening to Jeeves and Wooster radio plays with Richard Briars at the moment

Pinkjellyfish Wed 06-Mar-19 00:50:52

I love audiobooks! I needed them to get to sleep when I was a child. I get them either through audible or my local library (via BorrowBox). I need to be either in bed going to sleep or doing some kind of non-mental task like housework to concentrate though! Agree with @Ellen the Agatha Christies read by Hugh Fraser are brilliant!

Grace212 Wed 06-Mar-19 12:48:44

I'm not a fan of audiobooks either OP.

you say you are in that space where you have anxiety and cba to do anything - I don't think battling to persevere with something that you don't like is the way forward. Just because others love them doesn't mean we will.

Jebuschristchocolatebar Wed 06-Mar-19 13:10:12

I love audio books. I am a book worm and I read a lot. I also list to audio books in car, on the train, out walking. As others have already said it’s all about the narrator and the pace of the reading. We listed to them as kids all the time so I think the love of them has always been there for me. My 5 year old will listen to books for hours becuase he can’t read yet!

Bluebell878275 Wed 06-Mar-19 13:30:26

I love audio books. Usually listen to them in the car driving to and from work. Sometimes I listen at work to drown out the boring radio noise - I'm going to go mad one day from the repetition. I also listen to help me go to sleep.

I listen to Agatha Christie, random ghost stories, Harry Potter, Stephen King. Love it - just disappear into my own world.

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