Today’s Yesterday’s question from Jen at The Devourer of Books is how do I pick my audiobooks and how do I decide whether to read or to listen. (I wrote this yesterday, and then the library got too busy and I didn’t have a chance to post it.)
The vast majority of my books, both print and audio, come from the library. I usually listen on CD in the car, though I’ll sometimes download audiobooks from the library through Overdrive as well. I have a few books purchased from Audible and Pottermore, ones that I’d listened to before and knew I would want again.
Deciding what to read and whether to read or listen is a bit trickier. Often, if I read of a good book in a journal or on a blog, I’ll look first to see if it’s available as an audio book. If it is, I’ll try to listen. Unless I already have a hefty wait list for listening and my stack of print books is shorter, in which case I might skew towards print – but the reverse happens just as often. Katherine Kellgren is my favorite narrator right now, and I’ll listen to just about anything she’s reading – favorite series she’s done include the Bloody Jack/Jacky Faber books, the Enola Holmes books and the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. Wil Wheaton is also amazing paired with the right book – Ready Player One at the top, of course, and Little Fuzzy (which I never finished due to technical difficulties, but should really get back to.) Until she retired last week, I relied on my teen librarian, who was on the Odyssey awards committee and knew what kind of books I liked, to tell me what books I needed to listen to. I will really miss her. I often have long hold lists for print books, but because audiobooks take me longer to finish, I’m more likely to just go to the library shelves and browse for them.
There are also good reasons to read things in print, though, too. If it’s a part text, part picture book, like Brian Selznick’s books, or the Wimpy Kid books – I know there are audiobooks available, but it makes more sense to me to read in print in that case. I just gave up on the Mortal Instruments series on audio because I didn’t think the narrator worked – even though they switched narrators from the first book to the second. And I am something of a wimp. If there’s a book that I think is scary enough that I don’t want the full immersion that audiobooks give me, I’ll turn to print again – as I did with The Hunger Games and The Diviners. Sometimes, too, length will put me off an audiobook, as I don’t have enough time in the car by myself these days to make it through the really lengthy books. And I read print faster than I can listen, so if it’s something there’s a time crunch on, I’ll also go for print.
Either way, I know I’m a helpless addict because I always need to have at least one book in print and one on audio going at any given time, and preferably at least one backup for each as well.
And wait! It’s also Kid Lit Blog Hop day. I’ve been too busy writing about audiobooks in general to write about kid lit yet this week, but I’ll link up one of my posts from last week. And you should definitely hop over and see what everyone else found the last two weeks!