The Audio Book

I am now a modern woman. I have an App and it is called Audible.

I have precisely one book in my Audible library and of the twelve hours of listening that is required before I can pronounce I have finished it, I have completed just one hour, thirty-five minutes and a smattering of seconds.

Presumably, I can only imagine that because the book is about various women, it is therefore being read by a number of women, one of whom has a rather irritating voice. Nasal, whiny, like a cat in a fight. I don’t enjoy her chapters very much and thus far she has read a lot of them.

The issue I have is one of multi-tasking. I had imagined that I could walk around New York listening to my book whilst running a few errands, window shopping, picking up the groceries. No. It simply doesn’t work like that.

I find myself walking aimlessly in the wrong direction clutching at my ears trying to stop the earplugs from falling out, yet again; I stand, endlessly staring into shop windows, seeing nothing, just listening to the story; I gaze at displays of fruit for so long that I am asked by random strangers if I need help; and all the while I am trying to concentrate on a book, a plot, numerous different characters and all delivered by a nasal, whiny voice.

Perhaps I should persevere. Perhaps I should revert to a physical book with lovely pages to touch and feel. Perhaps I am simply too long in the tooth for this audiobook malarkey. And yet, when I heard of people who by June had already read fifty books that year (were they showing off?) I question how on earth they managed this. Do they too have audiobooks and spend their days plugged into their phones, whilst simultaneously running their multinational conglomerates? Or do they read through the night with a torch under the duvet?

I shall, for the time being, persevere. And if I reach the stage whereby I want to bludgeon the nasal voice to death, I shall revert to a proper book with proper paper pages. I shall hide with it late at night under the bedcovers, with a torch and its undoubtedly dying battery, just like I used to as a child. After all, isn’t that what normal people do?

Katie x

Do you use audiobooks? How? When? Where?

31 thoughts on “The Audio Book”

      1. This too sounds good … all I have to get used to now is just not amassing a pile of books over the course of a year. I think my husband would rather like the Kindle idea for that very reason!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. The Kindle App is the best, for your phone or tablet. I prefer the tablet because its about the size of a book! Within the app you can change the text size, background colours etc.,etc. Your public library probably has an ebook loan service as well! 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Like you, I am a lover of books – actual, real BOOKS – so how I came to enjoy audiobooks is every bit as unlikely as it might be for you! I wouldn’t be able to focus in the situations you describe, not a chance, any more than I’d be able to totter around New York whilst reading a book because when I get absorbed in a story I’m a goner and would get run over due to failing to pay attention to anything around me.

    In the car I used to listen to the radio, always BBC Radio London or BBC4 with lots of talk as opposed to music. And now, with a decent drive to work of 45 minutes each way, I listen to audiobooks. It’s a route I know well and it’s just me in the car with nothing much to pay attention to beyond driving, and I absolutely adore listening to good books.

    I agree though, a crappy reader can totally ruin it! I recently ordered the Actual Book Version of a book I couldn’t keep listening to because the reader had such a dull, monotonous voice he was sending me to sleep at the wheel, yet I was desperate to devour it. Print version it had to be in that instance and it became part of the pile on my bedside table instead of car journey literature.

    Train journeys same thing. Or flights if Hubby falls asleep next to me. 🙂



    1. Ahhh yes, now flights will be the perfect place! What a good idea. Trains, I have a thing about writing on trains … very odd. As soon as I see a train I want to write. A bit like if I see an envelope or a stamp I start to salivate even though they don’t need licking any more. God I’m odd! So lovely to hear from you … hope all is well?? Xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I prefer real books, but I listen to Ram Das podcasts and now one of his books in the car on my way to and from work. I love his voice.

    I have tried a few other books but the narrator must be good. And I am easily distracted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh now I’m very embarrassed to say that I’ve just had to google Ram Das … crikey, I think my education is seriously lacking. Presumably really wonderful to listen to? Is a podcast the same as Audible?? As in, you can play it on your phone etc? Sorry to ask such silly questions … I’m clearly a complete newbie when it comes to anything other than a paperback!


  3. I like to listen to audio books if I’m cooking or ironing or doing indoor crafts, you don’t need clean hands to listen, (just an odd clean finger occasionally to change discs!). I’d like more audio books, since the ones I have I’ve listened to rather too many times. I do like them to be unabridged. But they don’t replace a paper copy for immersion in the story; better for books you already know and love maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that’s a good point … I tend to read the books that I love, over and over again. Maybe I should save their battered spines any more damage and get an audio book for them. I love your idea of doing indoor crafts whilst listening … that sounds so wonderfully calm and happy. Good for you. 👍 Katie

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just started listening to books too, and so far have doubled my “reading” time. I listen while exercising, driving, walking the dog, making dinner. 🙂 I hope you get into the swing of listening and find some non-nasal voices.


    1. Ha! Thanks so much. Am on a week exploring north of NY so having plenty of audio time at night. This is good. Am greatly encouraged that you are able to do so much “reading” too. This has spurred me on! Thank you. Katie

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Audible. However, I’ve found it’s important to look at the reviews for “performance,” which rate the narrators. I like some narrators and can’t stand others, who I now avoid. I listen mostly while driving long distances (at least 30 minutes), working around the house (cleaning or home improvement projects) or while I soak in the bath tub. I’ll also listen at airports and on airplanes, but I’m usually traveling alone then and don’t have another person to talk to. It’s a different experience than reading though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you’re spot on … I’m now reading Michelle Obama’s book and I like her voice, but the last book really took some getting used to. Listening on trains works for me … but you’re right, it’s a very different experience and I like the fact that in truth I wouldn’t normally bother with books like my current one, but it makes it much easier to get though.


  6. For me liking the narrator’s voice is essential. I have listened to Michael Sheen’s reading of the first two Book of Dust novels with rapt attention. Usually I listen to whatever in bed (drowns out the nocturnal snufflings of my DH) but I’ve also picked up listening to fictional podcasts during the day. I’ll put my phone in a glass vase for sound amplification and do the washing up or hang up the laundry while listening to a horror fiction podcast (if you’re interested, The Magnus Archives on the app Acast). I find mostly mundane activities that need no conscious thought or decision making behind them pair best with audio entertainment. It kicked off for me, when I made my first flat-packed furniture while listening to an audiobook of Tipping the Velvet, probably on actual cassettes about 15 years ago.
    I hope you find your place/time and subject matter for listening, it can be so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea of putting your phone in a vase! That’s brilliant … I’ve certainly never heard of that before. I’m the same as you … I need to be doing something completely mundane that requires very little thought so that I can concentrate. Since writing this post, I’ve listened to several books and I’m certainly loving the fact that I can multitask, unlike with normal reading. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Katie


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