discussion

Discussion: Fantastic Audiobooks & Where To Find Them (sorry I couldn’t help it)

When I was young, my parents always brought audiobooks with us on long road trips. Mainly because I and my sister had the tendency to get sick, and reading a real book would highly increase the chances of panicked stops in the emergency lane and dirty backseats. However, the era of audiobooks slowly passed when I got about 14, basically because all the audiobooks we had were really focused on middle grade. I think also because my parents were getting annoyed by listening to stories like The BFG for entire days. Our audiobooks were always either bought (which is expensive) or borrowed from the library, and since the library had a very limited collection, there was not much to listen to. Only last summer I rediscovered the magic of audiobooks, which was because I discovered they were also on youtube.

What I love about audiobooks

They have a way of engaging you in the story, that regular books don’t. You get this extra dimension, and narration can change your entire experience of the book. I’ve listened to the entire Remnant Chronicles trilogy by Mary E. Pearson and I just loved the narration. They used different voices, intonations, and accents to represent different people. It just adds so much to the experience.

You can sneak in some extra reading time when you are busy doing other things. The advantage of audiobooks is that you can bring them everywhere, whenever and you don’t need your hands to carry it around. I usually put them on my phone so I can just do whatever I want while listening.

Some of my favourite activities while listening to audiobooks include but are not limited to: basic household tasks (cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping), drawing, eating, doing puzzles (I’m a nerd, I know), knitting (and an elderly lady apparently), travelling (train, car, bus) and cycling. All the tasks that I have to do anyways like household tasks and cycling to and from university take me like an hour in total per day, which gives me an hour of extra reading without sacrificing any other tasks.

It makes reading classics much easier. Most of the audiobooks I’ve listened to were YA, but when I started reading some of Jane Austen’s novels, listening to the audiobook made is so much easier and more fun. Classics are often long, dry pieces of text with long descriptions and for someone who has always struggled with them, listening to an audiobook makes it much easier. You can also use audiobooks for listening to required reading (and honestly I wish I did that in high school, that would have made it much more fun).

What I love less about audiobooks

Sometimes the narration is just a bit annoying. I am currently listening to the audiobook of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and the narrator has quite the southern American accent. Which is quite accurate for the characters I believe (not sure), but annoying nonetheless. The narration is for me not that important, but for some people, it is very important. So it’s something you just have to try and find out for yourself.

They take longer than regular books. This might only be my issue, but I read much faster than the narrator can talk. Though, I don’t really consider it a problem since I basically listen on stolen time.

You can’t flip back and check something (and going back is such a hassle). Sometimes I miss part of a sentence or paragraph, simply because a truck decides to drive past or I forget a small aspect that seems to be quite important later. For example, I was listening to The Raven Boys and it was about Declan and I missed the part of whose brother he was and I thought he was Gansey’s brother, but it turned out he was Ronan’s. Small fact, but still important.

My phone is annoying. My phone doesn’t remember where I stopped watching so I always take screenshots and then I have to check the time at the screenshot, go back to my audiobook and scroll to the right timing. Slight annoyance.

YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL NAMES. I thought for months that Rafe’s name was spelled Wraith or something like that, it just sounded the same! (Rafe is from the Remnant Chronicles, and I though Wraith would be a cool, but obvious, name for a spy so I just went with it and found out about it a book later)

Where to get audiobooks

With a quick google search, you find an endless amount of websites where you can get subscriptions to audiobooks services. Most of these require a monthly fee of about $15. Some examples:

  • Storytel.nl. This is a Dutch subscription service that has thousands of audiobooks (Dutch & English). The fee is 9,99 euro per month, which makes this one of the cheaper services. There also is a 14-day free trial. You can listen to audiobooks endlessly, there are no limits.
  • Audible. If you’ve been around in the bookish community, you have probably heard of audible. This is an Amazon based company and has about 180000 audiobooks. The fee is 15$ and there is a 30-day trial. If you look around there are a lot of people with discount codes, so use that! This service works with credits, you get 1 credit per month, worth 1 audiobook.
  • Audiobook.com. Another US-based service. As far as I see, this works exactly the same as audible.

There are also free ways of getting audiobooks:

  • Youtube. Yes, probably not 100% legal (actually, I checked, it is legal to watch unauthorized copyrighted material, but not download OR upload it), but there is a fair amount of audiobooks on youtube and this is where I get most of mine.
  • The library. This is usually only free if you already have a library card (which is not free everywhere!!), but the Dutch library system has a free app called LuisterBieb with about 800 audiobooks. You can also borrow the old-fashioned cd-audiobooks, but for me, there are only about 40 available, of which most are at least 10 years old.
  • Illegal downloads. I’m assuming this is possible, but I’ve never tried it.

And lastly some other ways of buying audiobooks. You can obviously buy them online, on amazon, iTunes or whatever online store you usually use and offline buying is of course also possible.

Some recommendations

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han, narrated by Laura Knight Keating. A bit girly but really cute.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams, narrated by Stephen Fry. Just awesomely done, the voices are brilliant. I mean, I love Martin Freeman’s narration, but it can’t top Stephen Fry.
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) – Mary E. Pearson, narrated by Emily Rankin. I love it, all the different voices and accents, wonderful!
Passenger – Alexandra Bracken, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. I liked this a bit less, but still very pleasant to listen to.
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen, narrated by Karen Savage. Perfect narration, just amazing, I could listen to this for ages.
Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5) – Marissa Meyer, narrated by Rebecca Soler. I loved this book and the narration just made it even better! I loved it, the narrator had different voices for characters and even added a French accent for Scarlet!!

Do you listen to audiobooks? Why or why not? Do you have any pro’s and con’s to add to this list? Where do you get your audiobooks? Any recommendations maybe?

Advertisements

56 thoughts on “Discussion: Fantastic Audiobooks & Where To Find Them (sorry I couldn’t help it)

  1. I don’t listen to audiobooks (I have tried listening to little excerpts on itunes) but I don’t know… it’s just not my thing. The narrator’s voice in my ears gets really annoying really fast and I just can’t visualize what’s happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with basically everything you said. I got into audiobooks because I wanted to read the Welcome to Nightvale novel and I felt like it would be weird to read it if that makes sense. Nightvale only works for me if Cecil is talking, so I signed up for Audible. Excellent choice. I’ve been listening to books I’m afraid to read, like political biographies or, like you mentioned, the classics. I can’t read that flowery Victorian language. I have an hour long commute to work so if I can learn something while I’m driving it makes me feel like it’s not “lost time.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the title ❤ I had an audible subscription and thought it was great but cancelled it because I don't listen to a lot of audiobooks so I was wasting money. But sometimes you do need audiobooks, especially when you're in a reading slump!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thanks, yes audiobooks are great for getting out of reading slumps (I think). Sometimes I listen to a lot of audiobooks and sometimes I don’t, so I don’t think a subscription would work for me either.

      Like

  4. I’ve never listened to an audio book before but I’ve always been really curious about them. I can see how beneficial they might be when you’re short on time or want to take care of business but still want to engage with the book community and get through your TBR. I think I might first try them out for classics, which I agree, are usually very dry and hard to get through! Thanks for the list of places to get them! I’ll definitely be checking them out. Great post 😀

    Like

  5. My son has a processing disorder and so he reads fairly slowly. I buy him audio books so that he can enjoy more advanced books at a quicker pace. We have listened to some lovely books including all the Roald Dahl books, all the Famous Five books, Children of the New Forest and the E Nesbit books. We also have quite a few non-fiction books about Vikings, The Wild West of America, Famous Scientists and many others. I love them for all the reasons you cited above, especially that you can listen to them on “stolen” time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great! Especially for people who have a hard time reading, audiobooks can be very beneficial! I hope you and your son have fun reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love audiobooks — I used to listen to them in college when I played video games to feel like I was doing something productive. :p I still listen to them while washing dishes and folding laundry; and my husband and I will listen to them on road trips. One of my absolute favorites is Hitchhiker’s Galaxy. You can also download some free ones from Audiobook Sync every summer — they have a thing where you can download two free books a week! (Check them out for sure!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is really good! I loved the audiobook. I have never heard of Audiobook Sync but I’m definitely going to check it out, thanks!

      Like

  7. I’ve recently been trying to get into audio books like you I have the problem that I read faster than an audionbook reads. I think my biggest trouble is trying to find an audionbook that I want to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve only read 1 audiobook and I pretty much loved it! I totally need to read more audiobooks because you can multitask and it it’s so much fun! They take a little longer, but it’s much easier to get through. The only problem is that I have to find the prefect reader for a book I want to listen to!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see why that might be a problem! I don’t really mind who’s the narrator, I’m even enjoying myself a lot with quite an annoying one… Good luck finding a narrator you like!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I LOVE this post Lia! I have been listening to audiobooks for about a year myself & I can def relate to your pros/cons. “You can’t flip back and check something (and going back is such a hassle)” this one gets me ALL the time smh lol. & the biggest pro for me is when you find THE PERFECT narrator/cast of narrators. I don’t do re-reads but I fully plan to listen to the Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) audiobook since I’ve heard amazing things about the full cast of narrators. Thank you for the recommendations, I’ll def be listening to Stars Above on audio 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’ve been wanting to listen to Illuminae but I’m afraid I’ll miss the amazing layout of the book. I heard it has a really cool format, so I think I’m going to just read the physical book. Have fun listening to Gemina though! I hope you love Stars Above!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh goodness! I def recommend reading it in physical 1st for the layout! Absolutely! lol I’m just re-reading through audiobook to see what the buzz is about regarding the cast of narrators lol. The physical book is seriously a one of a kind experience 😉💕

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! I haven’t listened to many audiobooks, simply because for me they take quite a long time to get through, and I also love listening to podcasts, but the ones I have are VERY COOL. What I love is that even rereading through the medium of audio can bring ou stuff in a book you didn’t see before! I’m currently listening to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe on audiobook and IT’S SO NICE AAH.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I have never listened to a podcast (shame on me), but I’ve been wanting to, I just never get to it..?? OOH ARI AND DANTE! Have fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t listen to audiobooks but I might try again since you seem to enjoy them so much 😊
    I tried listening to Anna and the French Kiss but the book started out complaining and the narrators voice irritated me so I stopped and read the print version.
    Aghhh I would love to listen to audiobooks before bed, though! I don’t think I’ll be able to listen to them while doing chores because I’ll probably tune it out (it happens all the time) 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw that’s sweet 🙂 I don’t usually tune it out but sometimes I do get distracted and I forget what is going on… 😦 I hope you’ll find an audiobook you love!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ha! I listen to audiobooks when knitting as well. I started sewing together some blanket squares the other day to the first few chapters of Lady Midnight! I was hoping to listen to it all the way through before I received Lord of Shadows but I didn’t get the chance to pick it up again. Most of the time, I listen to audiobooks (mainly the classics) to help me switch off at night and I often leave them playing whilst I sleep.

    Decent narrators however are a big influence over whether I will listen to audiobooks or not. I really regret listening to Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi because I think it was the audiobook that made me hate the character of Juliette and how the story was originally written. It was cringe worthy.

    And where can I find that version of Pride and Prejudice? The only ones I’ve heard are by Joanna David, Emilia Fox, and Rosamund Pike, and even though I like them, I always get the feeling there is a better one out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How is Lady Midnight? I have heard great things about it but honestly I think I’m a bit over the shadowhunters phase.
      Too bad that the narration ruined Shatter Me for you, I really liked the book.
      The Pride and Prejudice with that narration is on youtube (here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVHu5-n69qQ&t=2s), I haven’t listened to any of the other narrations so I don’t know if this one is better or not, I just know I loved it!

      Like

      1. I like the audio. The book is pretty good too but it has been a while since I read it. With so many Shadowhunter books though, I can understand not feeling that interested in it.
        Though I didn’t like the narration, I have been thinking about giving Shatter Me another try because I think I do have it on my kindle.

        And I have actually heard that narration of P&P before, I just didn’t know who the narrator was! I think my favourite is the Joanna David version but that is the first one I ever listened to.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. FRENCH ACCENT FOR SCARLET I’M SOLD.

    XD Okay so I don’t really like audiobooks (read: never tried one, never plan on it), but I know it’s great for multi-tasking! I just… I think that I HAVE to actually reeeeeead the book. Otherwise what’s the purpose of a book. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you haven’t tried it, how can you know? 😛
      Reeeeading the book is awesome but liiiiiiisstening is awesome too haha. You can also do it simultaneously to try?

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m not a massive fan of audiobooks unfortunately. I have really tried to get into them but I tend to find myself drifting off and then realising I’ve not even been listening and have no idea what’s going on 😂! As you said they take longer as well and I think I’m just an impatient person! Great post!

    P.s – I’ve switched my blog from blogger to WordPress so I’m here now – http://www.kirstychronicles.wordpress.com 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’d listened to a couple of audiobooks on roadtrips a few years back, but I had never thought about listening to them on my own until this year… now, I’m always listening to one when I get ready in the morning, clean up my room, or just generally do household tasks.

    I get all of my books from Overdrive, which is a library system in the US that has a ton of pretty good free ones. With this app i can also do 15 second rewind which i find really helpful. It drives me insane how long it takes, but I wouldn’t be reading at all if not for the audiobooks, so I can’t really complain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s cool! I don’t think I can access Overdrive since I’m not from the US but I’ve heard great things about the service! I need that function on my phone as well!! I hate having to scroll back and find myself lost on where I left off!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Wowwww, your blog is amazing, from the design to the content of the posts! Your blog is very inspirational for someone who is just starting out, such as myself.

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks ❤
      For newbies I think it's very important to comment and talk to other bloggers (like you're doing right now!). Don't be afraid to change your blog, it's a process to find out what works well for you and what doesn't!
      If you're interested I'm currently organizing a project to introduce new bloggers to the community, you can read more about it here: https://imaginaryplacesonpaper.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/introducing-blogger-newbies-a-new-project/
      I'm going to check out your blog right now 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I love listening to audiobooks while driving, working out, while doing chores, etc. Sometimes the narrator can make or break it. Some of my recent favorites include The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich, You by Caroline Kepnes, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, and Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I’m planning on listening to Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare on audio because James Marsters is narrating. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Narrators seem to be a large reason for people to dislike an audiobook, luckily for me I often don’t really mind the narration. I haven’t listened to any of those, but I’m happy you enjoyed them!

      Like

  18. Just a couple of months ago I started listening to audiobooks for the first time. I started with the Harry Potter series, which was an excellent idea. It’s a great way to experience a beloved book in a new way. I’m currently listening to Outlander so I can begin reading Dragonfly in Amber and I just got the Game of Thrones audiobook from the library and imported it to my iTunes and I so can’t wait to start it! 😀

    Like

Let me hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s