Friday, March 27, 2009

You're The Expert: Audiobooks

Talk to me! This segment is all about you educating me on your take on a subject. Answer all of the questions, none of the questions, half of the questions... it's up to you. First call: Audiobooks.

  • Do you listen to audiobooks? Where? For how long at a time?
  • What do you use to listen to your audiobooks?
  • Where do you get your audiobooks?
  • What is the best genre to listen to? Is that the same genre as your favorite print genre?
  • What one audiobook do you heart the most?
  • Do you prefer voice dramatization or just plain voice?
  • Do you have a favorite narrator?
Have feedback I didn't cover with a question? Tell me!


Kevin said...

I usually listen to audiobooks in the car/bus/train on my Sandisk Sansa m240. (I have complaints about this device, but it's what I have for now.) I mostly get my audiobooks from, but I'm kind of biased since I also read for them. I don't really have a favorite genre. I think I prefer to have some voice dramatization, but just enough to be able to tell the difference between different characters in the story.

So far, my favorite audiobook has been Huck Finn read by Annie Coleman. You can get it at

I Heart Monster said...

I am planning a feature on librivox sometime next week, so tune in for the Operative Factors Librivox edition! Thanks for your expertise!

Gayle said...

When I have to go on a long road trip, I get an audiobook for the road. I sometimes get them from the library, but I recently bought Mary Higgins Clark's audiobook "I Heard That Song Before" on sale from BAM. It was good. I prefer the voice dramatizations, although I was once listening to a Sandra Brown audiobook read by a man and dissolved into fits of laughter whenever the man did his "woman" voice.

Chris Hughes said...

• Do you listen to audiobooks? Where? For how long at a time?
Yes: in my car, for about an hour a day, when commuting.

• What do you use to listen to your audiobooks?
My iPod Touch

• Where do you get your audiobooks? I have paid for some via Audible, but felt they were overpriced, compared to free!

• What is the best genre to listen to? Is that the same genre as your favorite print genre?
I often choose audiobooks that I would find a challenge to read as book. I find that I can overanalyse things, and having someone reading at a unstoppable pace means that I am dragged through the narrative, without the temptation to look things up, and break the spell.

• What one audiobook do you heart the most?
Moby Dick, read by Stewart Wills.

• Do you prefer voice dramatization or just plain voice?
I do quite like the reader to give the character voices, but plain works for me too. A good reader is a good reader, however they read.

• Do you have a favorite narrator?
Kara Shallenberg is great, and tends to make me think that the text must be worth listening to, if she is prepared to read it. Stewart Wills I have mentioned, Gordon MacKenzie has a wonderful voice. Loads of others!

joysann said...

First let me say I heart audio books w/a passion. I'm addicted. Secondly, if I can't get an unabridged version, I probably won't listen. I listen in the car, long jaunts, short trips, whatever. I listen at home, for hours on end, while doing whatever can get done while wearing a personal player w/headphones, including playing solitaire at the computer. I get most of my books at the public library; I work there. I listen to fiction; rare is there a non-f that can hold my attention. I read/listen to romance, paranormal romance, sci-fi, adventure, suspense, mystery; I have a long list of favorite authors and I'll try to find them on audio. I can't name a favorite; there are too many I love. I most enjoy dramatizations, but some good readers aren't as successful as others and should stick to straight voice. Hands down favorite narrator? Barbara Rosenblatt. How's that? :-)

I Heart Monster said...

We love audiobooks on roadtrips Gayle! It's a really good time to pass the time.

Chris - I feel the same way about audiobooks as a way to get through books I can't read. I have a tendecy to overthink things as well. Glad I'm not the only one with that issue!

joysann - I can tell you really do heart audiobooks! I feel the same way about unabridged... why listen if you're not going to get the whole story?

Thank you to all three of you for your insights!

Frank Hardy said...

Yep, road trips are the time for audio books. But here's the problem. The books my wife and I enjoy listening to are different. I like mysteries and, except for Mrs. Pollifax stories, she doesn't. So we're pretty much stuck with a compromise book - hard to read a book while someone else (on tape) is reading out loud.

Apart from roadtrips, I can't think why I would want to. Reading to yourself is so much faster, not to mention you have control of whether you might want to skip anything.

My wife is pretty particular about who the reader is. There are series, Mrs Pollifax for example, where some readers she really likes and others she refuses to listen to.

I Heart Monster said...

Thank you Frank! I'll have to check out Mrs Pollifax - my husband and I are always compromising on our audiobook selections too!

Sarah C said...

*I have listened to a handful of audiobooks, always in my car on a trip.
* I use my iPod to listen to audiobooks.
* I have gotten all of my audiobooks from iTunes.
* Fiction/chick lit is the best in my experience; it keeps my attention more, especially funny fiction. This is also my favorite genre.
* My favorite audiobook that I've listened to is "Remember Me" by Sophie Kinsella.
* I supposed voice dramatization is helpful to distinguish characters, especially because not every piece of dialogue is followed up with "so and so said"
*Can't say I have a favorite narrator.