Thursday, 13 January 2011

Audio Book Reviews

I’ve been thinking of various ways of adding to my blog – either discussion posts or different ways of reviewing to trial out this year and Melissa from My World in words and pages... inspired me recently to expand my reviews to audio books as well as written word. After all I read both ebooks and paper books and as I already listen to a number of audio books why don’t I review them as well?
Before I started, I wanted to expand on my audio book collection to give you some back ground. Firstly, it’s not nearly as big as my paper copy, or after four months kindle ownership, as my ebook collection. I have perhaps 15 audio books split between CD and old cassette tape, but perhaps the key point is that I listen to them over and over again. I have heard some of my audio books more often than I’ve read any of paper books (with the possible exception of Watership Down!). I listen to them in the bath and in bed mostly. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve fallen asleep listen to a book on tape. Sometimes it takes me days to listen to a book all the way through but I love listening to these stories come to life through the fantastic reading skills of others. Some of the readers are just fantastic at building suspense, others do great voices for each characters. In most cases as well as the audio book I’ve read the paper copy but the audio version usually adds something to the story that as a reader I missed. So starting next week I’m going to trial reviewing some of the audio books I already own (and have listened to numerous times!).  
Let me know what you think of the idea. Have you ever listened to any audio books? What did you like/dislike about the experience?


  1. I'm always torn on the issue of audiobooks. On one hand, they'd give me access to a story during times where my hands are busy but my ears aren't, which means I could get more enjoyment out of the time when I'm, say, cooking supper or knitting or any number of things. On the other hand, if my mind wanders and I miss something, it's more of a pain to rewind and relisten than it is to just flip back a page. Also, I really enjoy the whole process of reading, making my eyes move over the words and take in the meanings of the symbols and their combinations, and I just don't get the same satisfaction out of an audiobook. I'm thus far avoided audiobooks, though I have, in the past, been tempted to review a couple of the indie ones I've listened to via Podiobooks, so I can give some indie authors a little more publicity if I like them. But thus far, I have yet to do that, and the jury's still out on whether or not I ever will.

  2. It depends on the audiobook. I enjoyed the Hidden Life of Dogs on a long trip. Did some harry potter that way too. However, if it is a slow and dreamy type... not good while driving long distances. :) I haven't listened to many audio books. I have one here now that I hope to get to soon.

  3. I enjoy listening to audio books but always think they "don't count" unless they are unabridged. I feel like it's cheating somehow if parts of the book have been cut out, like I haven't 'read' it properly.
    They are great for multi-tasking and long car journeys though.

  4. It is a interesting subject - I wouldn't choose a audiobook over a readable copy at all - esepcially as Sam says most are abridged and you miss a lot of the depth of a proper book. Looking at the audiobooks I have are mostly comic fantasy so they're light enough to dip into. I'll do a review of one of them next week and see how you like it! :-)