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Audiobooks for Beginners


I've listened to three (edit: four) audiobooks in my life. I know that's not a lot compared to others, however, I've learned a lot on what really great audiobooks have in common. This is my humble opinion to what I think beginner audiobook listeners should know in order to choose the right book. Here's a little back story on my experience with audiobooks:

I decided to give audiobooks a chance after seeing several bloggers listen to and enjoy their audiobooks. The first audiobook I listened to I wasn't really interested in. It was kind of boring to be honest. This year I'm participating in an audiobook challenge in order to give audiobooks a second chance. They have grabbed my attention, made me laugh, made me cry, and left me wanting more.

As you can see so far my luck has been really good with audiobooks. In fact, my experience has inspired me to write about what makes a good audiobook in my eyes. I'd love to know from expert and novice audiobook listeners  - What do you think makes a good audiobook?

How Long is that Audiobook?

If you take long trips to work or can multitask while you do chores or walk around your block then audiobooks that are very long should be no problem for you.

Now if you are like me and you can not focus properly on two things at the same time, selecting an audiobook up to five hours will be a perfect fit for you.

Can't function. Must listen to this book.

Your Patience Level

The length of your audiobook is important, but you should factor in your patience level as well. If you are a skimmer, like to read ahead, or only like to read one book at a time you should probably steer clear from audiobooks that run a long time. You might go crazy or completely disregard your other priorities like doing your homework, getting caught up with your work, or living a functional life where you see the light of day.

My patience level = Don't tell me to wait

If you are as patient as can be, read slowly anyways, or have a lot of time on your hands then congratulations; you can listen to any length of audiobooks and have a blast.

Get Ready to be Excited! Or Not...

So you want to make sure to pick a book you are actually excited about. You are investing hours into this book and if you don't care about the plot line then prepare to be bored for hours on end. Now, this is the case with any book, but with an audiobook that you have agreed to review... that's a problem. Make sure you know what the book is about. Mysteries, suspense, favorite genres of yours or authors you know and love are books to look out for.

The Narrator(s)

What's really great about audiobooks before you borrow them from your library or buy them is that they give you samples. Listen to these samples. They not only tell you if the characters in the story will be fun to listen to, but if the narrator(s) of the story will grab your attention. Great narrators can draw you in and make you forget about the world and not so great ones will leave you bored with a book you might have otherwise liked if you read it on your own. So whatever audiobook you decide to read first (or next) make sure it fits your personality and that you know you'll enjoy listening to it.

Feeling the awe of an amazing audiobook

Do you listen to audiobooks?
What do you think makes an audiobook the right one to listen to?

Comments

  1. Awesome post!

    I love to listen to audiobooks in the car. I listen to books of varying length, but a lot depends on the reader. I have abandoned books when I don't like the way the story is being narrated.

    I usually listen to about 2 books a month while driving. I have to drive to work and to run errands anyway and it is a great way to pass the time. Making sure it is a book you want to read is important because you will definitely get deep into the story while listening (as it tends to slow me down as a reader and I pay attention to each word as the story unfolds- no skimming ahead). :)

    Some favorites (all MG)-
    Harry Potter- the reader, Jim Dale, is outstanding.
    Nightbird- by Alice Hoffman
    A Turtle in Paradise

    Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella (very fun)

    I know there are more- but these are the first ones that come to mind.

    Happy listening!

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    1. My brother has recommended me to listen to the Harry Potter series but it's so long and I've I have no patience haha. A Turtle in Paradise though may be good for me to listen to. I'm pretty sure my library has it in either audio or ebook form.

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  2. Yeah, audiobook junkie here! The right narrator for the story is really necessary. The story can be great, but the narrator can really make the listening experience amazing.

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    1. So true! Narrator's have really made me think about my future classroom and how I need to really convey characters and their stories when I do a read aloud. Narrator's can take the book to a whole new level.

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  3. I've never really done the whole audiobook thing either but maybe I'll give it a try :) Thanks for stopping my blog!

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    1. No problem (: ~ I was sceptical at first, but it's really worth a try.

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  4. I have a hard time with audio but I really only have three good examples. Audio "book" one was an anthology with no chapters! I had to listen to the end of the first story in order to hear the beginning of the second one.

    Book 2 was read so slowly that I ended up buying the ebook version and skipping ahead.

    Book 3 was the final nail. I love HP. I've read all the books, watched all the movies and thought it would be a good start to loving audio books as well. I fell asleep.

    Now that I have an mp3 player, I may try again while doing chores.

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    1. lol. You are like me. You have no patience. It's really hard to listen to a whole book through and not be able to go faster. Shorter books may win you over. You need less patience and less time to finish listening to a book. Hope the fourth time is the charm (;

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  5. I've only listened to one audiobook so far: A Joan Aiken book. I found it difficult to concentrate. Rather, I found it difficult for me to do anything else other than listen to the narrative. So I don't know how others could pay attention to the stories as they did their dishes or drove or ran. For me, I had to sit or lie down, and not do anything else.

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    1. YES! Just like me Claudine. Shorter books might make you change your mind about audibooks because I know for me it was the amount of time I had to stop and do nothing but listen to a certain book that could drive me crazy. Yet when a book is shorter it's really fun to listen to. Books with humor are especially entertaining too.

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  6. All great advice! I pretty much only listen to audiobooks for enjoyment (I still review, but on my own schedule and terms).

    I've said this before, but I think the best way to learn how to listen to an audiobook (it is a learned skill!) is to start with a book, or even better, a series you've already read. This takes off the pressure of making sure you hear every little detail b/c you've already read it. I started this way, and it really helped me learn to enjoy and ultimately LOVE listening to audiobooks.

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    1. That is great advice Jen especially if you've been wanting to reread a book again. That would have taken a lot of the pressure on my first couple of audiobooks.

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  7. I also have read about a handful of audiobooks after seeing how much the blogosphere enjoys them. Narrators are HUGE for me, I made the mistake of not listening to an audio sample of Falling Kingdoms before I bought it and I was so disappointed I just read the book instead. The fake accents D: Anyways, great post, it is helpful!

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    1. lol. There was one audiobook I listened to that had an accent to the character and it worked. I couldn't tell it was a girl narrator reading a boy's part actually so listening to samples are a MUST for me too.

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  8. I've found that I can't really get into audiobooks in general, but I easily get into graphic audios! They're basically audio books but with different people narrating, sound effects and even music! It's really awesome and it feels like I'm listening to a movie each time.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. WHAAAAATT!? How did I not know this was a thing? I like it yet I would also want to see the art in the book just because it's a graphic novel.

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  9. Great post! I have begun listening to audiobooks a lot more than before. I'm in my third year of the audiobook challenge over at The Book Nympho and the first year, I only did give. Last year, I did 20! This year I've been kind of slow, but this last month I've been consuming the hell out of audios.
    I don't usually listen to them in the car, but every morning while getting ready for work (makeup, clothing, etc), I have an audio on.

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    1. I'm in the same challenge, but this is my first year. I've listened to three this year which all have been wonderful experiences luckily.
      Ah, so you are a multitasker. I'm not surprised you listen to so many audiobooks.

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  10. I have never listened to an audio book but a lot of my friends swear by them! I don't think I could read a book for the first time that way, so I plan to listen to one for a re-read - probably The Scorpio Races, as I've heard the narrator is fantastic. :) Great post!

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    1. A blogger just game that advice on here to listen to a reread so you get used to audiobooks so I hope you enjoy your first experience with audiobooks.

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