There are some topics I can’t talk about as I simply know little about the content, audiobooks are one of them. So one day I got the idea to ask Melanie if she could write about audiobooks as I thought it would be interested to learn more about the topic and also share it with my followers. I haven’t listened to audiobooks so far and am not sure if I will like them, but I am determined to at least give them a try. First let me give a big thanks you for Melanie for stopping by on my blog today and writing this helpfull guest post about audiobooks. I hope you find it as helpfull as I did.
The Beginner’s Guide to Audiobooks
Guest post by Melanie Simmons
First, I would like to thank Lola for having me and letting me share my love of audiobooks with you. I’m a huge audiobook junkie. Last year, I listened to 97 audiobooks. I love them because I listen while I drive, do housework, do other chores, tedious projects at the office, while getting in some exercise and many, many other ways. I get bored really easy and audiobooks really help me keep my sanity when I have tasks that would otherwise bore me. It has also really helped me with bad traffic. Let’s just say, I’m less likely to have road rage now. LOL
Now, I wasn’t always an audiobook fan. There are a few things to consider when trying out your first audiobook:
- I highly recommend getting a book you’ve already read and know the story. This will help if you miss something in the audio, you still know what is going on and won’t miss anything. This is usually the number one complaint of first-time listeners.
- Make sure the narrator is good. Hopefully, if you read the reviews of the audiobook, the reviewer has also reviewed the narrator as well. Some sites, like Audible, have specific ratings for narration. You can also ask someone who is already an audiobook junkie if they have some narrators to recommend. Most bloggers who review audiobooks are also really good about giving comments about how much they like the narrator in their reviews. There are some that don’t, but most do.
- Make sure you aren’t doing tasks that would require too much concentration. While one of the best things about listening to audiobooks is the ability to multitask, be careful when you’re starting off. For example, I wouldn’t listen if you’re traveling in unknown areas with high or chaotic traffic that could be distracting. A route that you know or long road trips on the highway are great. Yardwork is another great time to listen. Housework can vary depending on how much your family distracts while you’re working.
- Abridged versus Unabridged: Abridged audiobooks are exactly what they say they are, shortened versions of the original. Personally, I’m not a fan of abridged audiobooks. I’ve only listened to one and it was a book that I had read before listening. It was not available as unabridged, so I had no choice. There are parts that were missing that I remembered from the book. I don’t know how I would like it if it were a new-to-me story.
- Autobiographies narrated by the author are a good time. I’ve listened to a few of these include Carrie Fisher, Betty White, Kevin Smith and As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes (which is a must read or listen for any fan of the movie). I felt like I was being told the author/narrator’s life story as if they were right there with me just talking to me.
There are studies that say you don’t retain as much when listening to audiobooks as much as reading. I think it is a learned skill, which is why I make the recommendation to start with books you already know. When I first started, I had a harder time recalling the stories. After some time, I learned when I could listen and when I needed to pause the story for a bit to finish up my task. Apps with bookmarks help too. I’ve also been known to use the voice memo feature on my phone. Read more about “Your Brain On Audio Books”
Lastly, to help you get started, here are some of my favorite series on audio and my favorite narrators of 2015. The series list is a little old, but still holds true today. There is a lot of UF and PNR on this list. If you’re looking for something else, let me know, If I can’t give you some ideas, I can maybe point you to someone in the audiobook world who is more well versed in that genre than I am.
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I review for Hot Listens and Rabid Reads. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.