Discussion: Why Audiobooks Rarely Work For Me

Discussion

So many bloggers are praising and raving about audiobooks lately, and I’ll always read this articles as if in hopes that they’ll make like audiobooks more. Unfortunately, I rarely seem to enjoy audiobooks.

In the past year, I’ve really been trying to get into audiobooks, but they’ve all failed. The one audiobook whose audio aspects were actually good had a story that ultimately made me set it aside without finishing it. And even that audiobook had some audio issues for me.

I just don’t like listening to stories that much. I can’t concentrate on the words as easily. When we had to read things out loud in class, I rarely listened – I normally read it at my own pace and often finished before the reader while listening to the reader in the background. I prefer seeing things, especially names, because otherwise they don’t stick in my head as much. If I’m going to read an audiobook, it has to be really engaging and I have to be doing nothing or next to nothing. If I try to read something else while listening then I get really lost (which, I know, makes sense, but I like multitasking!).

I also don’t like the fact that there’s usually only one narrator. If it were read like a play, with at least a handful of different narrators to differentiate between all the characters, then it’s a lot more enjoyable. It doesn’t matter if the narrator uses different “voices” – in fact, that often really gets on my nerves. I want a way to differentiate between the characters, but weird voices don’t work in that regard.

Audiobooks are also really long. In all of the pro-audiobook posts I see, they also point out that audiobooks are good ways to read while you’re cleaning or brushing your teeth or exercising. Well, I suppose the exercise thing could work for me, but nothing else really does. I’m in a college with a roommate, and when I’m home I have two parents and a sister who probably don’t want to listen to whatever I’m reading. If I lived alone or just with a significant other or something, I don’t think it would matter as much, but as is, I just don’t have the time to “read” via audiobooks.

Am I giving up on audiobooks completely? Of course not – never say never and all that. I am, however, even more wary of them. I think I’ll just stick to the written word for now.

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10 thoughts on “Discussion: Why Audiobooks Rarely Work For Me

  1. My problem with audiobooks is that I read really fast. I have finish about 200 pages in about an hour or so, and I feel like an audiobook can keep up with me. I’d get impatient because I want to know what happens and it’s not going fast enough. I also can’t pay attention. If the point of audiobooks is to be able to multitask while listening, I don’t think that’s going to work for me because I’m spacey at the best of times. I respect them as a valid medium but it’s not really for me either.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

    1. Those are some of my problems exactly! Back in elementary school, some of my teachers would make us listen to whatever current book we were reading on an audiobook, but those things read REALLY slowly, I guess to help the whole class listen, but it just frustrated me and made me so bored. I need an audiobook that reads at a normal speed, but then I have trouble hearing everything if I try to do anything else while listening! Just doesn’t work for me – print is perfectly fine in my book.

  2. I can definitely see where you’re coming from when it comes to speed. I started listening to audiobooks earlier this year at work for while I’m doing boring, mindless tasks, and I really like them, but I quickly figured out that I can’t listen to a book that’s more than 400ish pages. It takes me FOREVER to get through an audiobook, and through no fault of the book’s, I’ll start to lose interest if it’s just going on and on and it seems like I’ll never finish it. But, for smaller books, I like listening to them at work and in the car (I have a 45-minute commute each way, so it helps pass the time).

    1. If I had to commute, I would probably like audiobooks more, but when I’m walking to class, I don’t really want to concentrate on a book, so it just doesn’t work for me. I definitely think I would drive myself a tad crazy if I listened to a really long book, though – I just don’t have that attention span for so long, even if I break it up in smaller portions!

  3. I’m extraordinarily picky when it comes to audiobooks. I prefer a whole cast reading as well, but they’re rare to find. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is read by a full cast (and it’s amazing). Adorkable by Sarra Manning is read by two different narrators, as is the book. I also tend to prefer British narrators to American ones (I’m Australian). I tend to listen to audiobooks at work because I can afford to zone out, however the book has to be light enough so that I don’t have to really concentrate on it. As you can see it’s hard to find good ones.

    1. Yeah, I would love to read an audiobook with a whole cast – maybe I should check out the His Dark Material books, especially since I’ve never actually read them! And Adorkable is another book I’d like to read, so I’ll keep that in mind if I’ve ever on a long car ride or somewhere else where audiobooks might actuallly work for me! Thanks!

  4. YES, thank you! I always feel very lonely, but audio books and me just don’t go well together. I’ve tried several situations, but I just can’t seem to concentrate on the story.. And it doesn’t goes fast enough for my taste.

    1. That’s exactly it for me! I don’t want to give up on them forever, but I’m definitely done with them for now. Print books that I can follow completely for the win!

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