I have recently discovered the world of audiobooks, via the site Audible. Even though they have been around for quite a while, audiobooks had never really appealed to me before now. I don’t know why. It seemed sort of like cheating, somehow. Like you weren’t actually reading the book, because you were listening to someone else reading it. Which is true in a way. But I also found that I really enjoyed it.
The reason I created an audible account was because of their offer to become and member and get a FREE audiobook. That beautiful capital lettered- word ‘free’ jumped out at me from the screen. And I must admit- I was sucked in.
I cannot resist anything free generally, but especially at the moment as I am completely broke. You see, I had also recently got a kindle app on my phone, for even though I was an adamant ‘book over kindle’ protester, I was coming to see the practical side of it. I wanted to read more books. And I didn’t want to wait. I wanted them now! So, I got the kindle app. To be honest, reading books on the small screen of my phone isn’t the best, but it beats not reading them at all. I got plenty of free books. Many of the classics, and some for just 49p etc.. But others that I wanted to read were much more expensive. And by this time, I only had about £5 in my bank account. So I couldn’t afford Girl Online or other titles I had been dying to read. (Click to read my review of Girl Online.) So I took this offer with the intention of getting a free book and then having read it, deleting my account before the next month, before a payment is taken.
Anyway, I did this, and began to listen. I found that I rather enjoyed listening, because it is a lot less effort than reading. Much like watching a TV show or film. Less brain power is required. I found this relaxing, a change from my previous experiences of reading. An odd change, I must say, but a pleasant one. It was perfect for when I was tired, or couldn’t be bothered to read, because I could just lie down with my headphones in, and close my eyes. Whereas, a physical book, requires concentration and you have to hold it up in your hands etc. I know it doesn’t sound like much work, but compared to listening, its a bit of a drag. Especially, if you are a lazy person, like me.
On the other hand, when I’m not tired, but I’m feeling fidgety or restless, I can go on my phone while I’m listening to my book. I can play a simple game, or go on another app while still enjoying the story. This is because I am free to use my hands. I can eat, drink or doodle, without having to stop reading. Its brilliant! With an audiobook, you only need your ears. Therefore your eyes and hands are not needed. And this freedom is liberating.
From these discoveries, I can say that audible is reading… for lazy people. Joking aside, it is a very good app for those who are not the strongest readers, e.g. those with dyslexia. Some dyslexic people don’t read often, because it is difficult for them. But audible allows everyone to enjoy books, with no struggle or frustration with the words. It is also great for anyone who doesn’t particularly like reading or is too busy to read, because, as I’ve just said, you can multitask and it is less effort than reading. Plus, you can read at any pace you wish. I found that I liked this option very much. I am a fast reader, and was initially worried about it being too slow, but there is a button where you can speed up or slow down the narration, until its just right.
While on the subject, lets talk about the narration. I have only read one audiobook so far, so I can only speak for the one narrator I have heard. But I was quite impressed with Hannah Tointon, who narrated Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. Her voice was clear and very pleasing to listen to. She differentiates between the characters well, using different tones and pitches for male and female. I could clearing tell who was talking. Of course, as an actress, she is good at this. But I assume that all the narrators of audiobooks are required to do this. She put a lot of feeling into her narration too and portrayed the emotions well. The only thing I could fault her on, is her American accent. I mean, it wasn’t too bad. But a lot of the story was set in America, and one of the main characters, Noah, is American. For some reason I found her British girl doing an American teenage boy voice, very annoying. And obviously if I was reading this book, his voice would sound like whatever I heard in my head. For me, It made his character not quite as likable. More often than not with books like this, the female readers are supposed fall a little bit in love with THE boy, as the main character does. But I wasn’t quite feeling it. And I think this is due to the voice. But this is a majour thing. She captured Penny, the main character, very well and overall, I think the narration was good.
I liked audible very much, with its layout and set up. You can pause whenever or rewind and fast forward. The only thing I don’t like is the price. Shocker. £7.99 a month is stretch for me, as a student. I can’t afford to spend anything really on monthly subscriptions. Its a shame. So even though I would definitely recommend it, I have now cancelled my membership. but I would be completely open to audiobooks in the future. My preconceived notions about them are much changed. I guess I would say – don’t judge an audiobook by its cover!
*silence* Ew. I’m sorry. Why did I put that…
Anyway, I have to admit, I have changed my tune. Laziness for the win!
So tell me, have you tried audible? Do you like audiobooks? Leave any of your thoughts in the comments below.
I hope you enjoyed this post.
Thanks for reading!