I #amlistening to Audiobooks!

Posted July 25, 2014 by Jen in Uncategorized Tags: , ,

For a couple of years now, my good friends Jennifer (The Book Nympho), Liza (Blogging by Liza), Felicia (The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog), Marquetta (Love to Read for Fun), and others have been touting audiobooks. And my continual reply was “I don’t do audiobooks.”

Let me tell you, it wasn’t for lack of trying! I attempted to listen to an audiobook a few times, but I never was able to really enjoy the book. I tried when exercising, doing housework, just relaxing on the couch, etc. And before you mention it, my commute was only 10 minutes for many years; just not long enough to listen in the car. Anyhow, I found that I had problems listening to an audiobook because I continually would start focusing on what I was doing, and then suddenly I’d realize five or ten minutes had gone by and I had no clue what happened in the story. It just wasn’t effective for me.

I also couldn’t wrap my head around listening to books for reviews. I am an avid notetaker and highlighter. I like to look up words. I like to go back and search for names or events that happened earlier in the story. These are all things that I can’t do with audiobooks.

Then earlier this year, I decided I REALLY wanted to re-read my favorite series, The Kate Daniel series by Ilona Andrews, but I just didn’t know how I’d find the time. It was at that time that my group of friends strongly urged that I listen to the series instead, citing Renee Raudman as one of the premiere narrators. The facts that 1) I’d already read the series and 2) wasn’t doing it for a review were pluses… If I missed a scene here or there, it wouldn’t impact my enjoyment. Also, when I started walking this year, I usually spent the time listening to my favorite podcasts. Now I could listen to the books during that time. Finally, I now have a 30 minute commute, making drive time a solid listening time.

So I did it. I got the first Kate Daniels book, Magic Bites, on audio on loan from my library. Here were my initial thoughts:

I like the narrator. Easy to listen to, especially since it is a first person female POV. It’s not exactly how I imagined Kate’s voice, but after a while I was immersed in the sounds.

Regular speed is too slow. I up’d to 1.25 speed. This is better – more like conversation.

I don’t like Kate’s whimpers. They are too whiney – not how she would sound.

I don’t like being able to mark notes and highlight sections. I also don’t like that I can’t visually look ahead to see when there is a non-chapter break in the text where I can easily stop.

I have horrible memory. I don’t like that I can’t easily go back and search for a part of the book I want to re-read (re-hear).

Those were my thoughts as I read and completed that first audiobook. What I didn’t notate, but mentioned to friends, is that I found there were parts of the book that I didn’t remember from reading it the first time. It’s not even like I forgot them and once I heard them I recalled the scenes or facts. Rather, there were parts I just didn’t recall I’d ever read. I don’t know if it’s because I read over those parts too quickly and the audio forced me to hear them, or what… but I liked this aspect of my audio experience.

I enjoyed that first book enough that I quickly started with the next one, and by the time I was on the fourth book, I was hooked. Now, Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) is one of my favorite books ever, and the audio experience really enhanced that. By this point, Renee Raudman IS the Kate. She’s also Curran, Doc, Julie, Aunt B and others. Each character comes alive to me through her narration. I found that not only was I used to how to listen to an audiobook, but Renee had really found her stride, with each voice developed and solid. And I couldn’t put the earbuds down! I found that I was listening to the book at every possible moment – just like I do with books I love to read.

I quickly finished the Kate Daniels series (so that I could read the upcoming Magic Breaks, book #7), and was blown away. I found that the emotions I experienced the first time around were still there, in many cases just as strong, if not more so. In Magic Rises, my favorite book of the series, I couldn’t stop crying during some of the more poignant dialogues and horrific scenes. I wanted to listen to it over again right away! And let me tell you, I am already anxious to listen to Magic Breaks – I wouldn’t feel complete without listening to it as well as reading it.

So I haven’t listened to an audiobook in a couple of weeks now, and honestly, I feel out of sync. I miss it. So I’m going to tackle another series I’ve had on my TBR for a while – Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. I never read the first five books (gasp, shock, I know!), and now I will listen to them, confident in the knowledge that I can and do, in fact, enjoy listening to audiobooks (when doing so for pleasure, not reviews! I’m not ready to tackle that one, yet!)


PS. I really wish sites like GoodReads would allow me to add the audiobook edition as a separate and unique book rather than mashing the text and audio versions and only allowing ONE to show up on your shelves. On Booklikes, I am able to add them separately, so it looks like Booklikes has the advantage there!


18 responses to “I #amlistening to Audiobooks!

  1. Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

    And the obsession begins. LOL

    Kate was my first audio book. I signed up for the 7 day free trial with Audible.com back in 2010 and used that free credit to purchase Magic Bites.

    Elemental Assassin series is a top fave for me on audio.

    I know you’ve read the Charley Davidson series. It’s on my audio only list. I can’t read it. I’ve tried. I can only do them on audio. You should give them a try as well.

    I don’t know if you’ve read Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series but they are FANTASTIC on audio.

    Another series that’s great on audio is Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane. I could not get into the 1st book by reading it because of the heavy street slang Kane has crafted but once I listened I was hooked. Now when I read the ARCs I hear the narrator’s voice in my head.

    Another series I will only do on audio is The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I think if I read the 1st book I would have DNF it. But the narrator rocks. There’s one book that the narrator was different and I was sad but I still listened.

    One more audio only series is Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter.

    • Dolly Sandor

      What you said. I gave up on reading The Hollows but will now go back. Same with Downside Ghosts series. Still behind but really loved the first audio book.

    • Awesome! After Elemental Assassin, I may try Charley Davidson. I know you and others have really said some great things about the narration, which *may* reduce some of the frustration I had with reading the last book. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestions!

      • Felicia The Geeky Blogger

        Those that Jennifer mentioned are all ones that are must on audio. I think you hit the right way to approach audio. I tell people to start with a book they have already read because you kind of have to train your mind to listen to audiobooks. I usually tell them to do what you did:tackle a series you have already read. I think you will love Gin and crew

  2. Dolly Sandor

    I was exactly the same way. Jennifer and Carmel talked me into audio books. I was stuck in a series, the Cast series by Michelle Sagara so I listened and was amazed!! It made the characters come alive for me and reignited my love of the series. The other one was The Iron Druid Chronicles. Oh my gosh, I love Luke Daniels!! Still behind on that series and Jennifer Estep’s series but I’m getting there. I’m with you on the speed. I have to use 1.25 too
    Audio book lovers have an evil plot to convert us all. Lol

    • At 1.0 speed, it was just too slow to follow. I like 1.25 speed because it’s more like conversation speed rather than being read to. I accidentally started Gunmetal Magic and thought Andrea sounded really funny… until I realized I was at 1.0x instead of 1.25x It makes a difference!

  3. Marq aka SmutGirl

    Yay! I’m so happy that you’re liking audiobooks. The first book I listened to on audio was Shadowfever. I think listened to the entire Fever series on audio. It does help, when you’re new to audiobooks, to listen to books you’ve already read. Like The Book Nympho, The Charley Davidson series is my audio only series. I’ve never read the books and I don’t plan on it. The narrator is SO FREAKING GOOD!

    I’m currently listening to The Hollows series on audio. I don’t have time to sit and read all 11 books. I find that Audiobooks make it easier to catch up on a series that you’ve fallen behind on or want to start reading.

    • Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

      I can get 2-3 audio books done in a week where I can only get 1 book read. But it’s because I can listen at work and that helps me burn through my TBR.
      Fever series was great on audio once they changed narrators. That 1st one was not so good. LOL I’m glad I read them 1st or I would not have liked the series as much.

      • I tried listening at work, but couldn’t do it. I do too much reading and writing to be listening to a book. So I found I was getting in one audiobook/week when I was working and doing my regular schedule.

      • Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

        I edit parts lists and specifications all day. So I do some reading but since I’m not the one writing the specs then I don’t have to really read them. Just format and fix what the engineers don’t get correct the grammar dept. LOL

        I find that listening to music distracts me more at work than books. I think it’s because I try to sing with the music and not the books. LOL

    • Thanks Marq! That’s just it… I have series, like Elemental Assassin, that I want to catch up on, but just don’t have time to sit and read with my review schedule. I’m looking forward to trying something completely new after I get through some of my catch up series!

  4. Melanie Simmons

    I think the first series I did on audio was Anita Blake. I agree all of Jennifer’s suggestions. Charley Davidson, Immortals After Dark, Downside and The Hollows are all great series on audio. I would also add The Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning and Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong, that narrator does a great job with young Clay.

    I’m really glad you are enjoying audio. It is always great to have another audio junkie to talk audiobooks with.

    • Thanks Melanie! I will HAVE to listen to Charley. I love the books. Maybe after Gin I’ll do the Immortals After Dark. That’s a series I tried reading and got through the first 5 or 6 titles, but just didn’t make time to finish it in between everything else I was reading (there were 12 books out in that series when I started it.) Maybe for my “try something completely new” I’ll try Downside. I’ve never read and I know so many people who love it.

  5. I have been doing audio for a few months after a bad experience with audio that sounded like a robot…But man once I had that good Julie Garwood I was in love it was a reread (not sure that is the correct term) but basically one of my fav reads on audio and I finally got the correct pronunciation of the words I had been reading wrong lol and the burr. So something to be said for those audio books. I look forward to your audio reviews.

    • Thanks Marcia! That was also an interesting aspect – hearing the pronunciation of different words that I only guessed at when reading.

      I don’t know if I’ll be doing full-blown audio reviews in the near future, but I will try to at least leave some posts on GR and Booklikes!