Audiobooks are great. It’s a different way of experiencing a book. You don’t get as intimidate by the block of texts in the book. You get to listen to how the narrator portrays the scene. They are extremely convenient when you are doing something that requires both your hands. You can play it when you’re:
- in the car, running errands or going on a road trip to visit your parents who live three states away from where you’re living.
- doing household chores. (You can get your laundry done and read a book at the same time! You’re getting rid of two birds with one stone.)
- making dinner. (Sometimes, it’s boring between you and the food. It can’t talk back when you speak to it. I know. I tried. ;D)
- taking a bath. (You don’t have to worry about your book getting wet. You just listen to the narrator and their voice will soothe you into relaxation.)
- waiting. (Like during jury duty when there’s absolutely nothing to do.)
I find that a lot of people listen to an audiobook while they multi-task and they are fine.
I don’t do that? I don’t think I listen to audiobooks the way it’s intended to be listened to. I’m sitting here going, “No, that isn’t me. Wait, do people listen to audiobooks the way I do? Do they read along with the book? Or is that a weird thing I’m doing? How am I supposed to audiobook????”
For me, it isn’t as simple as just playing the audiobook and listening to it. There’s another step that is required for me to actually enjoy and help me focus on the words being read to me.
How I listen to audiobooks (in steps!):
- I open iTunes and find the Ready Player One audiobook.
- I grab my book and open it up to the first chapter (or whatever page I was at last time I read it).
- I start the audio.
- I listen to the narrator as I follow along with the book.
Apparently, that’s not way people listen to audiobooks? (At least the people I come across.)
I usually listen to my audiobooks like that. Sometimes, that isn’t the case. I remember a couple of times in high school or college, I didn’t read along with a book because I had forgotten it or the teacher asked that we close our eyes and just listen. Other than that, I must have a book in my hand. It’s absolutely necessary.
Why do I have to follow along with a book?
Say I decide to listen to Ready Player One while I’m trying to organize my room, and then an hour later when I’m all done, I realize I don’t remember anything that happened. I think, “shit.” I totally zoned out and missed an entire chapter because I hadn’t been paying attention. Why the fuck did I decide to listen to the audiobook if this is what happens? That is the absolute worst and it’s a waste of my time. I’ll have to restart it again and guess what? Zoning out will happen again. It’s never not gonna happen. It’s a frustrating cycle that won’t stop until I decide to not listen to the audiobook. In the end, I learn from my mistakes.
I need to be able to see the words because if I do not, well, bye bye to my attention span. I find it harder to focus on the content that is being narrated. I get easily distracted and I tend to zone out A LOT. (I’ve said this a bazillion times and I’ll continue to say it some more.) It all becomes background noise to me. I can listen well when somebody talks to me, but if I’m listening to someone read a book or paper out loud, yeah, I’m not great at listening to that. (I guess I have to train my ears for that, which means practice. *deep sigh*)
I feel like when I have the audiobook playing and the book in front of me, there’s a better chance of me retaining the story in my memory. Even more so when the narrator’s voice is absolutely perfect.
Why don’t I listen to audiobooks often?
- Sometimes I don’t have the book. (And you already read how important it is that I have it in my hand when I listen to an audiobook.)
- I don’t have access to it. (Either it’s too expensive or the library doesn’t have it.)
- The narrator’s voice is extremely grating or they don’t do a good job of portraying the characters. (ie. Jesse Eisenberg narrating White Cat killed me. It was hoorrribbbleeee. Ughhhh.)
- The slow reading pace of the narrator can irritate me because my eyes tend to speed through the sentence when I read. (I feel like I’m just waiting for the narrator to catch up. I just want to move on. Can we do that, slow-speaking narrator?)
- I forget they exist. (Yes. This does happen sometime because I don’t realize that certain books have it.)
- They aren’t convenient for me.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, I would highly advised you Ready Player One read by Wil Wheaton. His voice is a perfect fit for that world. (And if you know anything about him, then you will know the other reasons.)
Tell me if you do this so I don’t feel like I’m the special sunflower. Do you listen to audiobooks like I do (following along with the book)? Or can you listen to them when you multi-task? What do you like about them? What are some of your favorite audiobooks? Which ones do you not like?