Let’s Talk About Audio Baby! (W/ Giveaway!)
Leslie from Under my Apple Tree, and myself both enjoy audio books. I love to look at her audio reviews and see what she is suggesting. Yes, even us audio book lovers need go-to audio book lovers… much like us book people seek out other book people. :D
Through our chatting recently on audio books we though it would be fun to give you a little bit of our background with audio, and then open it up to you to ask questions on each of our blogs. We will have a random drawing on each blog for those who do ask questions about audio books. Feel free to ask the same question on each blog as we will probably answer it differently. I have about 2 1/2 years of audio book experience but Leslie has about 4 years!
How long have you been listening to audiobooks and how long did it take you to be comfortable with the format?
For me, I didn’t start getting into audio book until after I had begun book blogging. My opinion on audio books was something my aunt and uncle did when they drove their RV from California to Minnesota each spring. In other words… old school. Outdated. I imagined them surrounded with a case of cassette tapes, choosing what to listen to next as they bounced along the highways…
Then, in late 2009 I was offered a few audio books through Hatchette audio for review. I remember starting with James Patterson. I liked some of Patterson’s books, so why not? The series I started with was The Michael Bennett series and the first audio was Step On A Crack. What I thought about audio books that day (monotone readers blah blah blah) went out the window.
What I learned is that audio can be exciting! The narrators show emotions, the different characters have voices you come to recognize, and in this audio books case and the others in this series that followed – they had sound effects!
So began my love of audio. It was truly trial and error in the beginning. I had no idea how to pick out good audio. Many in the early listens were mediocre. But when I hit a good one – I knew they were out there.
Since audiobooks are an acquired skill, what should listeners look for when selecting a book? What should they avoid?
When selecting an audio book watch to see if the audio is abridged on unabridged. I always go unabridged, I think most of us do.
If the narrator is new to you, many websites offer sample listening of the audio so you can see if it is too your liking. I also like to watch from ratings on narrations and see what others are saying about the audio.
See how many hours the audio book you are thinking of is. I personally prefer my audio books between 6 and 10 hours. However, in the case of books that I really want to read, I will go longer. 11-22-63 was 30 hours and 40 minutes. The Passage by Justin Cronin was 36 hours and 52 minutes. Both were well worth it.
Audio books can get pricey however many libraries have audio for rent as well as to download. Sites like Amazon, half.com, Bargainbooks.com, Ebay all can have great deals on audio books. I recently picked up 10 audio books of newer titles for $2.99 each at Bookbargains.com. I am also a HUGE fan of audible.com where you can get an audio a month for $7.99 your choice! Your first audio book with Audible.com is free, and there is no contract ever…. you can stop any time. I have been using them for two years and just recently updated my account from one audio a month to two. They also have awesome sales where many titles will be $5 or less. See my audible.com link on the right sidebar for more information.
What audiobooks would you recommend to new listeners?
If you are dipping an ear into audio let me just say, YAY!!! Now that first audio experience is important so here are a few I would suggest depending on your tastes…
- Any of The Harry Potter books with either narrator Stephen Fry or Jim Dale. Both are fantastic and you will sweat that is Hagrid in the room with you!
- Ready Player One. If you have reading the audio book week posts, then enough said. We are all raving about this one. :)
- The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks – f you like historical non fiction this one is incredible!
- The Magicians King – a grown up Harry Potter. Picture Potter if they could have done the college years and tossed him into Narnia… ok, now you are with me :D
Now we open the discussion to you. Feel free to add to what was discussed here. Please ask questions! Any comment that contributes to the discussion or relevant question will count towards a chance to win an audio book of choice from Amazon up to a $20 value. Winner will be chosen randomly at the end of the Audio Book Week.