About once a year, I get on my audio soap box. If you read me here, you already know I LOVE audio books. When I discovered audio books in 2010, I was amazed that I had found a way to enjoy books beyond the turning of the page. If you are into real books or your E-Reader, what I want to share here is that this is another way to EXPERIENCE books that will (I promise) take you to the next level.
One thing we can agree on before we get started….. we all love to read. We enjoy engaging in a well written story. We can close our eyes and picture our favorite reading spot…. a cozy chair, on the porch in the sun, in the evening curled up on the couch, outside on a swing, a park bench, leaning against a tree….
I get that. I am that. Often… I love to be on the back deck in the summer with ice tea and a great read. But for me.. life does not stop so I can read a book. Lets try this visual:
So many books…. so little time right?
So let’s get started.
We just covered the WHY and WHEN you should listen to audio….
Audio books may give you a visual of old school audio tapes….. and uhhh….. no. Fast forward to something a little more current. Hip and happening…..
Audio books come in CD format. Perfect for your car and in your home. They also can be downloaded off your computer to ITUNES or even directly to your phone (my personal favorite). With an auxiliary cord, you can easily hook your phone up to your vehicles radio and listen to it within your car.
My personal favorite is on my phone because my phone is usually everywhere I am. I picked up an external speaker at Wal-Mart (found at most stores that has electronics). This allows your phone to connect with the speaker and amplify the sound. This way I can set the speaker and phone on my kitchen counter and work my way around the area without having to carry my phone with me to hear it. External speakers range any where from $9.99 to $89.99. I paid $14.98 for mine three years ago and it still works wonderfully. No need to go fancy. 🙂
For traveling purposes, such as walking the dog, traveling on a plane or mowing the lawn, ear buds come into play. These too can be picked up at most stores that carry electronics for fairly reasonable.
Audiobooks can be purchased in CD format at most stores that carry books. You can also pick them up on line off Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc… For downloading audio to your device of choice, there are several options.
Audible.com: This is the one I use and have used for 5 years. Audible lets you choose up to two audio books a month at a greatly reduced price from what you would purchase audio in the stores. I am on the two credits per month program and pay $22.95 per month. Many audio books, especially new and popular titles go for anywhere between $25 and $50 an audio book so this is a great reduction. As a new customer, you receive your first audio book free – just go on and pick one. Another thing I love about Audible is that if you are listening to a book that you do not find to your liking, go into your account and ask to return it. No questions asked they will give you your credit back! They also have wonderful sales where you can pick titles up for $4.95 each, as well a daily special where one audio book will be $2.95. No contract, quit any time.
Downpour.com is another site much like Audible, however they do not have DRM (which honestly I knew little about until I read the linked article. I have not spent a lot of time on this site yet, but I will. Definitely one worth checking out.
WHAT To Listen To
Ahhhh….. one of my favorite topics…. what to listen to on audio? Most sites will allow you to listen to a sample of the audio book. I highly recommend you do this. Not all audio is treated alike. Narration is so important and while you can read here or on other sites about favorite narrators…. you really need to hear for yourself and choose what you like. A good narration (IMO) lets you lose yourself in the book. You don’t hear someone reading, instead you become part of the story. You don’t hear a change in character voices, instead you hear a discussion. And when you are really really lucky – you fall in love with the narration and…. you stalk the narrator. You look for books that this narrator has narrated. That’s when you know you have it bad. I have done it.
I can give you a short list here of some of my favorites…. but definitely look around and see what other reviewers are talking about in audio books. I have picked many audio books on my own, but I have picked just as many or perhaps even more on someone elses raving.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Narrated by Wil Wheaton (soon to be a movie!)
11-22-63 by Stephen King Narrated by Craig Wasson (do not write this off because it is a King book. It is, and it isn’t!)
The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower Narrated by Karen White (This is such a great listen and so informative)
The Martian by Andy Weir Narrated by R.C. Bray (From the very first sentence I was all….. oh yeah. This is going to be fun)
YOU by Caroline Kepnes narrated by Santino Fontana (oh my word! The narration and Joe….. WOW!)
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty Narrated by Caroline Lee (Oh I fell in love with this story and this narrator! I also enjoyed Big Little lies with the same narrator! It’s like narrator crack!)