Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…
Listening vs. Reading
When do you decide to listen to an audiobook instead of reading the story? For me, I pretty much continue to read books in series that I’ve been reading, and I use audiobooks to catch up on books/series I’ve had on my wish list/TBR. But it’s not always that simple. Listening to a story gives the “reader” a completely different experience than reading it. Sometimes one way works better for a reader than another.
Recently, I decided to listen to Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones, rather than read it. Here is a series in which I’ve read every book and had planned to read this one as well. However, I struggled reading the last two books in this series, with certain aspects of the characters’ actions and the overwhelming number of storylines making it difficult for me. Knowing that the narrator is one of my favorites, I opted to break the string of reading and listened to the story instead. In this particular case, I feel I made the right decision. I was able to let go of some of my issues and just enjoy the narrator share the story with me.
On the other hand, I feel that I may have enjoyed Anne Bishop’s The Others series a bit more had I read the books. Part of the reason is the narrator, who is a bit slow. However, I think it’s also the writing style, which can be very drawn out and detailed. When listening to a book, I am not able to skim and selectively read pieces and parts, which may be may be better suited for this type of book.
Finally, there are books where it doesn’t matter, like the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. These books are so engrossing and well narrated, that I can and do flip-flop mid-book between the audio and written word. These are the books I just can’t put down and can easily drift between the two different media.
So what about you? Are there books, series, narrators, or authors you will only “read” in one format or another? Have you ever switched mid-book or mid-series?