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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?

1Wildheartsease Fri 12-Apr-19 07:37:06

I'm a devoted reader too but am getting to love audio books.

Some work really well. (Do try 84 Charing Cross Road. The letter format is a bit dull to read but great to listen to.) Some don't.

I find it impossible to relax by lieing still when anxious. My MIL persuaded me that learning to knit would work... and amazingly she is right. (She always said that there would be fewer wars if only more people knitted.) I love to listen and knit - or cross-stich - or crochet.

Acrasia Wed 06-Mar-19 19:33:45

I often listen to an audiobook when cleaning. I hate the slow speed of the narrators, so I speed them up to at least 2x the speed. The Naxos Classics are usually excellent, Juliet Stevenson narrates most of Jane Austen’s novels.

itsbritneybiatches Wed 06-Mar-19 19:32:19

I can only my really listen to books I've read. I can't remember people names or details otherwise.

I only listen to it when I'm on the running machine it helps to distract me and gives me something else to focus on that's not running. Or jogging who am I kidding lol.

I prefer a book book. I read in my kindle ap but you can't beat the feel and smell of a book

SachaStark Wed 06-Mar-19 19:27:27

I trained myself to use audio books about ten years ago when I stared my literature degree and realised I would never get through my reading list whilst also working part-time (and wanting the student night life as well!). I say "train myself" because it did take me a while to get used to taking in the story whilst doing other stuff.

Now, I love them! I listen to them every morning while getting ready, on my commute in the car, and whilst doing housework in the evenings. I read between a hundred and a hundred and twenty books per year, and there's no way I'd get as much reading done as I can with audio books whilst also working sixty hours a week.

misskatamari Wed 06-Mar-19 19:07:13

I think a lot really depends on the narrator. My absolute favourite is Ready Player One, read by Wil Wheaton - he does such a brilliant job, and the book is fantastic. I really enjoy his narration so have read a few other books purely as he's reading them. Stephen Fry is great too. He read the Harry Potter books and they're great on audiobook thanks to that. I also really enjoyed The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle on audiobook as well.

Lovingit81 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:05:47

I love them, can't get enough!

GregoryPeckingDuck Wed 06-Mar-19 19:02:18

I can’t tollerate slow paced rhetoric whether it’s reading aloud, a lecture or a conversation. I struggle to concentrate and get very frustrated and feel like banging my head against something hard.

JacktomyDaniel Wed 06-Mar-19 19:00:36

Thank you everyone! I think right now it’s probably not right for me and Grace I think you summed it up!
I adore reading but find with a book just now I end up putting it down and wandering off or can’t focus on it. Was hoping audio would make me lie and relax! Definitely not right at the minute!
Maybe in the future!
So far I’ve hated podcasts. I hate the sound of people chatting so that’s a no go!

VeganCow Wed 06-Mar-19 17:08:22

I normally hate the narrators voice so don't listen to many audiobooks. But recently I used the free Audible trial and listened to Set The Boy Free by Johnny Marr, and he narrates it too. It was bloody great, for any Smiths fans out there.

ScatteredMama82 Wed 06-Mar-19 16:40:23

I think it depends on both the book and the narrator. FWIW I love them, I listen in the car to and from work and at night when I am too tired to even read I set up my audiobook on a sleep timer and it helps me to nod off. I used to read all the time but since having kids and DH working away all week for a while I'm just too tired to read so these are a good alternative.

outpinked Wed 06-Mar-19 14:14:50

I personally don’t mind them but they’re not for everyone. Don’t worry about it, find something else that does help you.

paddlingwhenIshouldbeworking Wed 06-Mar-19 14:08:37

I can't get on with them either. I find I've missed huge chunks of the story as my mind wanders.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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.

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