Monday, October 24, 2011

Musing Monday...I Heard It Through The Grapevine..I Mean The iPod!

Gee, what could this week's question from MizB at Should Be Reading possibly be?...

Do you listen to audiobooks?
Why, or why not?

A nice direct question, that as usual, I have an indirect answer to.

My answer is sometimes.
I have a bit of love/hate relationship with audiobooks.
I want to love them, but so often do not.

Why? Well, I think there are several issues for me. First of all there is the actual physical use of them. I assume if you download a file online, from Audible or some such place, it is easy. I actually did that one, from my library, but I totally forget if there were any problems. I think not.
But almost every audio I has listened to was from CDs. So I can either listen to them on the CD player in my car or download them to my iPod. Now, either I am doing something wrong in the way I download them to iTunes or other people are more patient than I am. It is a pain. And the other option, playing them in the car, highlights my major problem with audiobooks. In my everyday life, most of my car rides are just too short. It takes me 10-15 minutes to drive to work or go to the supermarket or most of my errands and that is just too short to get into a book.

Now yes, a LONG drive is much more successful. A few weeks ago I drove to Maine, which is about 7-8 hour drive from here. Perfect. But I might do that once or twice a year which would not get many audiobooks 'read', would it.

I also noticed something else. I think I am best with audio books without a huge number of characters or too complicated a story. The book I listened to on my recent trip was one in Louise Penny's series and I must say the narrator pronounced those French names way differently that I had in my head. I assume he had them right, but it was rather disorienting! In a real book, I can page back and reread something or check a point, something I personally can not do on an audio. I have realized I have a visual memory not an auditory one when I was in high school Spanish class and nothing has changed. I see something and I remember it. I hear something and it is usually in one ear and out the other. So with an audio book, we need to keep it a bit simple. Hey, just like me!

Ok, so say I found my perfect audiobook, not too complicated, not too many characters to remember. Why can't I listen to it other than in the car?
Well, one of two things happen. My mind wanders or I fall asleep.
If I am doing a task, I start to think about what I am doing, Something that is sometimes required, and find I have missed a hunk of the book. Rewind...
If I am sitting still, I fall asleep and I wake up to find a chapter has ended. Rewind...

I have always thought an audio book would be perfect while exercising. Walking...on that step thing at the gym...the time would fly as I burned the calories and worked toward fitness.
Sounds like a good idea, right?
Maybe I should put on the sneakers and give that a try.


  1. I love audio books, they put me to sleep better than anything else I know!

  2. It's hard to find a good audio book that keeps you awake and interested! I should try listening to audiobooks the nights I can't sleep. I never thought of that before!

    Trish - My Musing Monday

  3. When it comes to exercising, I often like audiobooks better than music then too, along with the long drives. I get to take long drives semi-often since my best friend lives 6 hrs from me, and my grandmother is 2.5 hrs away. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. I just did three hours of yard work with an audio and it made the task so much better. Did my mind wander? Yeah a little, but I still know what is going on. I have issues with iPod uploading with MP3 files, but discs I am fine. I am just proud that you are trying! You get lots of credit for that!

  5. I am so happy that Sandy is proud of me for trying! :-)

  6. Listening in the car is a no-no for me, because I am always with the hubby on long trips, and he would not appreciate listening to one of my chic/lit books. LOL...

    I sometimes have trouble falling asleep, so decided to listen to an audio book. Well, I would fall asleep and have to rewind it, so quit that.

    I like your complimentary today.

  7. I'm a visual learner as well, but have come to thoroughly enjoy audio books. I do agree they work best when you have chunks of time to listen.

  8. I can't usually listen in the car, because I'm rarely in the care for any length of time by myself. I do enjoy listening to them while I'm walking the dog, or doing mindless things around the house like laundry. I've actually listened to several of Penny's books and I like hearing the French pronounce presumably correct or at least closer than it would sound in my head.

  9. I had the same problems that you did. I finally solved it by primarily listening to books that I've already read and loved. All the Harry Potter books. I'm going through Louise Penny's books right now. There are others - Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody books. If I miss a bit through distraction, it doesn't matter because I know the story. I find it very soothing. :-)

  10. I'm making progress with audiobooks. I spend a lot of time pottering about on the computer so I don't really notice the time taken to download from CDs. But you're totally right about them being brilliant for long drives - somehow the division of concentration is perfect.

  11. I try to listen to mysteries because that's my favorite genre, but I only listen to audio books in the car and my mind tends to wander alot. I'm better with chick lit or non-fiction for audio books.

  12. Thanks for stopping by....and I, too, have the some of the same mind wanders; if in the car, trip is too short or kids are talking....if exercising, I would be trying to breathe too much to concentrate!! LOL.

  13. I have actually never tried audio books...I read on my Kindle and on my iPad all the time...but audio I have not yet tried! Guess I am behind the times!! I think if I listened while driving, I would fall asleep...NOT good!!

  14. What a great detailed response, Caite! I am guilty of the same thing - having my own pronunciation of unique character names - and then when you hear the "correct" pronunciation it can throw you off.

  15. I agree - my daily car rides are 20 minutes tops - too short to get into an audio book.

  16. I recently bought a new car and with it came 6 months of Sirius Radio.

    Have you listened to Book Radio? I love it! Living out west, everything is so far apart. Last week's 10 hour drive zipped by because I was listening to some really great stories.

  17. Hi Caite,

    I have to say that I have never listened to an audio book and unless circumstances make it necessary, I probably never will.
    The most important reason is that I can't stand earphones or headphones of any description, I have terrible earache within a few minutes.

    Secondly I don't enjoy being read to, even as a child I preferred to read to myself as soon as I was able.

    Thirdly, I think that all audio books should be narrated by the author, as they are the ones who know best where the voice inflections, emphasis and nuances should be. Many snippets of audio books that I have heard, have been read my narrators with such boring, droning voices, that I would be asleep within a couple of seconds, rather than being entertained.

    Personal opinion, sorry if it sounds a bit like a rant, it wasn't meant to.


  18. I totally agree! Thanks for visiting btw =)

  19. I do listen to audiobooks although not actively so. I am an subscriber and have my books downloaded to Kindle for listening. It works great. :D

  20. I've never tried an audio book before. I don't even have an e-reader. Totally an old-fashioned book-in-my-hands kind of gal. :)


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