How I Choose for Audiobook Week

Audiobook WeekToday’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.

Bloody JackDeciding 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 OneReady 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.

divinersThere 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!

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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8 Responses to How I Choose for Audiobook Week

  1. There’s lots of love out there for Ready Player One and Will Wheaton this week… I really must listen!

    • Wil Wheaton isn’t necessarily the most versatile of audiobook readers – it’s just his voice every time, but when you get him paired with a story that matches his voice, he’s just perfect. I think my love has listened to Ready Player One 4 or 5 times now.

  2. Jaclyn says:

    I’m the same way when it comes to listening or watching things that are scary or gruesome – I’d rather read in print, because hearing or seeing is too hard. I think NEVER LET ME GO is about as scary as I could get in an audiobook – anything more intense, I’d need the print version.

  3. There are definitely good reasons to read something in print. But I’m always amazed at how well a lot of audiobooks handle the weirdness (style, pictures, etc.) in some books.

  4. I have never heard a book on audio. I wondered why one would want to listen to a book they had read, but you answered that succinctly. Nice blog and YES! it is Blog Hop Day – or it was a few hours ago. I am still up playing catch-up. Nice blog. I’m a follower!

    • Thank you very much, both for following and for commenting! I’m a fast print reader, so listening to audio books forces me to slow down and really listen to every word the author put in – I feel like a know a book much better if I’ve taken the time to listen to it.

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