Audio Books–Do You Listen to Them?

 Children’s Book Week has meant all sorts of new adventures for me. In addition to going to see a production based upon Judy Blume’s classic Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, I am reading a book in a format I usually avoid–audio.

I have a confession to make first. I didn’t know this was an audio book when I requested it from the Amazon Vine program. This program allows you to request a certain number of items each month and post a review on Amazon. I don’t participate much in the program because I have so many other books to read for my blogs, but when I find something of interest I’ll send in a request.

I am currently working on a middle grade historical, part of which will be set at Wheaton College in Norton, MA–which during the time of my story was Wheaton Female Seminary. I wanted to get a feel for life at an all girl seminary and thought Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay would be perfect. When I discovered it was an audio book, I have to admit I was disappointed. I’m not the kind of person who can listen to music while she works, let alone try to pay enough attention to a story at the same time I’m working.

I have found, however, that these compact discs are perfect to listen to in my truck while on the way to the grocery store or when I have a bunch of errands to run. I’m truly enjoying the story. The characters are all so different, and narrator Justine Eyre does a wonderful job of breathing life into these characters and capturing their essence.

Do you listen to audio books? If yes, how often? What do you like about them? Is there anything you don’t like about audio books?

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11 thoughts on “Audio Books–Do You Listen to Them?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Audio Books–Do You Listen to Them? « TC&TBC --

  2. I have listened to a couple of them while traveling and that seems to be the perfect place to listen to them. Although my car is equipped for cassette only, it is difficult to find decent books on tape any more – lol. I did find some at the book warehouse place in Savannah this past November but didn’t buy them – don’t know why because the 5 hour trip from Savannah would have been perfect to listen to some stories on tape. I like mysteries but I guess because I wasn’t really familiar with the stories or the authors I didn’t get them.

    I do know some blind folks and persons who are legally blind and can’t read printed materials so they all listen to books. Maybe I’ll try to get some more and start listening again in the car during my busy days.

    Thanks for posting this – E 🙂

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
    STATE OF WILDERNESS, now available
    STATE OF QUARRIES, now available
    STATE OF RESERVATIONS, coming May 2010
    STATE OF ALTITUDE, coming June 2010

    Where will the adventure take you next?

  3. My other car only took cassettes too. I gave it up to my son when he got his license. Sounded like a good excuse to buy a new car. 🙂 Now I have a 6-disc changer, so I really have no reason not to listen to audio books. I just happen to love holding a book in my hands.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Elysabeth.


  4. I dont listen but my kids do. They are 8 and 10 and we have mandatory ‘quiet time’ on the weekends…1 hour, in their rooms, so mommy and daddy can relax. Great time for books on tape!

  5. I listen to audio books in the car when I’m traveling or have a lot of earns to run with the kids. I normally pick mid-grade to young adult books for the travels and chapter books or picture books for the earn running.

    I love doing this and so do the kids. Another great idea with audio books is having both the print and audio versions. When my son was having a hard time getting up to his grade level in reading we did this with a few books. This year when he took his reading test for 8th grade he was took he read at a high 11th grade level. I couldn’t have been happier.

  6. Another great post. I listen to audio books all the time. Primarily in the car, because I’m in the car about 3 hours a day getting to and from ye olde day job. So that’s a lot of good listening time. It also makes the drive go by much faster. Sometimes, the audio book is the only thing that motivates me to get in the car. LOL I just get a few from the library every two weeks or so and I’m good to go.

    My only complaint about them really is some of the narration. A good narrator can really enhance the book, but a lousy one I feel cheats the story. I often wonder if I would have seen the story in a different way if I’d just read it instead of listened to it. And in some rare occurrences, the audio book is the only way to go. For instance, Stephen King’s “On Writing.” I read it years ago, then saw it on audio book and listened to it. King himself is the narrator, so it’s just like sitting down and having a conversation with him. Too cool.

    In fact, I’m headed to the library this weekend to get some more…

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Virginia and Vanessa. Great idea about the audio and printed versions together, Gin. I think I’ve been lucky, Vanessa, because I haven’t listen to an audio book whose narrator is lousy yet, though I’ve only listened to about three in my lifetime. I would love to narrate a story one day.

    Thanks again ladies.


  8. I’ve never listened to an audio book, but have been considering it lately. My eyes are not what they used to be and I can only read for short periods of time, so they sound like the answer to my problem.

  9. I have to admit that I really prefer reading, but this is a nice alternative since I spend so much time on the PC and my eyes need a break.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bev.


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