Coffee Shop Talk: Audiobooks

Hello, folks! Today I am here to talk to you about audiobooks, which is how I’ve done a good chunk of my for-fun reading this year. As of writing this, I will have listened to 343 hours of audiobooks since January 1! That maths out to a little over 14 days of just audiobooks, which is frankly amazing to me.

As you can probably tell, I love audiobooks. One of the few splurges I have is my $15/month Audible subscription – and the occasional daily deal. I’m a sucker for a $3 audiobook when I have a little extra.

However, most of my audiobook reading is done through my library’s partnership with Hoopla Digital, cause I don’t have the money to just buy every book I want to read. I read more than 150 books this year, and I’m a reporter. I don’t have that kinda extra money. That’s why I loooove my library (and my librarians)!

Audiobooks take me back to a simpler time, when my parents would read and enact sections of The Hobbit for my siblings and I at bedtime. But now, I don’t have to wait till bedtime. I can listen to an audiobook pretty much any time!

I spend a lot of time in the car, which is my favorite time and place to listen to an audiobook. I drive to work, and I drive regularly for work, which takes me to a lot of the same places. There’s nothing else making noise in my space, which leaves me enough focus to work on the words and on the road around me. It’s great when I know exactly where I’m going, because the driving becomes more or less automatic, but I can still listen well.

The other time that I tend to spend listening to audiobooks is when I knit. I love to knit and watch something, or listen to something. Because I’m ADHD, it gives me enough things to focus on that I won’t be overwhelmed, but I can still be productive with my hands without getting distracted by background noise.

My mom recommended working on puzzles, cooking, or doing dishes while you listen – though you might want to do it with headphones if you’re washing things!

One of the most important parts of an audiobook is having a great narrator. Most publishers choose really well for theirs – WANT by Cindy Pon got a Taiwanese voice actor, Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy got a Southern as shit voice actress.

One of the great things about reading on Audible is that you can sample the audiobook before you actually purchase it. I highly recommend doing that – even if you’re listening through another service. It’s a great way to see if the voice or the accent will get on your nerves. For example, a lot of people hated the actor that read the Darker Shade of Magic series. I despised the fake southern accent on another book. It’s a very personal thing.

One other thing to keep in mind – if a voice actor has a thick accent you aren’t familiar with hearing, it can take a little more concentration to listen to. For example, the voice actor for Uprooted had an Eastern European accent which was perfect for the novel, but between that and the stunning story, it just took a little bit more mental effort than I could give while I drove.

Personally, I find that fantasy and science fiction are harder to listen to while I drive, because of the immense amount of unfamiliar worldbuilding. As with all of this, your mileage may vary, but I find contemporary stories easier to work in during my workday.

If you think an Audible subscription is right for you, you can subscribe through my affiliate link here!

Well, that’s all I’ve got to say about audiobooks! Have any questions? Comments? Funny stories? Share them with me in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Coffee Shop Talk: Audiobooks

  1. I used to give a side eye on audiobooks because I feel like it’s not exactly reading. But now, I’m willing to give it a try. It just that the price for audiobooks are so expensive that I gave up ?

    1. Well, it’s absolutely reading, in the same way that an ebook or a graphic novel is – same story, just a different format. I highly recommend it, though it isn’t for everybody!

  2. Whoa, you’re an audiobook pro! 🙂 I’ve come to enjoy audiobooks, but I used to be super irritated at strangers talking in my ear, nothing in front of my eyes etc 😀 It’s still a bit difficult since I’m a super visual learner, but I go for walks and that works. Can’t do cars or most other things cause those are too loud, maybe next year. I love great voice actors choices, for example for the Rivers of London series, I usually only get the audio.

  3. Audiobooks have been helping me read because I’ve been struggling to read by myself. I used to be an avid self-reader until I started burning out and crying at the lack of comprehension from reading. Audiobooks are really accessible for me. They’re the best.

    1. Yes! I’m so glad they’ve been helpful for you and you’re getting back into stories. Burning out is so easy to do when you love it but also struggle.

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