I can’t remember when I first encountered audiobooks. I remember being a very small child and there was a telephone number you could dial to get a story read. Then later there were books on tape that my grandma got when her sight deteriorated. It was probably in my early twenties that I realised that audiobooks were not just for children or the elderly but for anybody.
These days I am an unrepentant audiobook addict. In fact, there are some weeks when I get through more audiobooks than ebooks or paperbacks. I tend to go through 5-6 a month, mostly from Audible, sometimes from BBC Go. Like many who struggle to sleep, I’ve found the early hours can be a lonely time. There’s something disheartening about giving up the quest for slumber, putting on the light and grabbing a book. Turning to an audiobook is much more satisfying. You can while away the early hours and still have the possibility of drifting off.
A few times I’ve drifted off listening to a thriller. I’ve had some very odd dreams as a result. I’ve learned that sleep timer is a early-hours-audiobook-listener’s best friend!
Audiobooks are also the perfect tonic for tired eyes. There are some days when I am almost glued to a computer screen from dawn until dusk. Being able to close my eyes and absorb a wonderful story as I rest my weary peepers is, frankly, bliss.
I shy away from those audiobooks that are like a performance but, nonetheless, there are some books that I feel have been enhanced by the audio experience. Skippy Dies, The Other Hand (known as Little Bee in the US, I believe) and Turn Up for the Book – these were all great stories but their narration added a whole new dimension.
I even have a favourite narrator these days! Sean Barrett is so adept at the role that I have been known to choose books on the basis of him being the narrator! He must pick his roles well because I’ve enjoyed them all so far.
Of course, I delight in paperbacks and love ebooks nearly as much but my audiobook heaven has made the world of literature even more joyous for me.
(Photo credit: yum9me)
What are your thoughts about audiobooks?
- Audiobook Events for June Is Audiobook Month (karenwhiteaudiobooks.com)
- AUDIOBOOK WEEK: What Makes a Good Narrator (readinginwinter.wordpress.com)
- Bardowl iPhone app wants to be ‘Spotify for audiobooks’ (guardian.co.uk)
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