5 reasons why I hate audio books
I tried an audio book for the first-time last month and I hated it. There I said it!!
I follow some amazing book bloggers and whenever I see an update of the books they are listening to, I am always a little jealous. It’s been something that I have wanted to try for some time, so when I found out that our library loans audio books I was all in and keen to give it a go. Last month I downloaded the app and off I went. Sadly, it just didn’t work for me and here are the reasons why.
THE NARRATORS VOICE
I tried no less than 7 books before I finally settled on one. The main reason being the narrator. I didn’t realise how badly I judged people on what they sounded like until I tried this. Every single voice I tried, irritated me within a few minutes so I found myself rejecting book after book for that reason alone. It was with some relief when I finally found one I could get along with.
Now, I’m not going to mention what the book was as my feelings on audio books has nothing to do with the book I chose. In fact, I really enjoyed the story and it was the only thing that kept me listening until the end.
After finally finding a narrator that didn’t annoy me within minutes, the next thing I had an issue with was pace. Now, I know that I’m a quick reader. I like to go through books at my own pace and I found that an audio book restricted that as I was held back by the pace at which the narrator spoke.
While I did enjoy the fact that the narrator added a tone and interaction to the story missing when you read it alone. I hate how long it took. It seems to take hours after hours to finally work my way through the entire novel.
This leads me on to number three. The fact that even though it took so long to work my way through the book, I was under a time pressure to do it within in a few weeks. I appreciate that this is an issue related to the fact the I borrowed my audio book from the library and that three weeks seems like a long time to listen to a book. However, with two young children, I’m limited as to when I can actually listen. So, for me this took away a lot of the enjoyment that other people seem to get from them.
One place I loved it though was in the car while I was driving to and from work. Because my other senses were busy elsewhere, it actually meant that I enjoyed listening to the story more as I drove. However, I only work 20 minutes away from home and work 2 days a week. So, 80 minutes a week isn’t long enough given how long it takes to listen to an entire book.
Now, this is the biggest issue I had with listening to an audio book. When I read I immerse myself in it. My eyes are busy reading the words and my hands are busy holding the book. My imagination is playing out the scene for me step by step including voices and action. In fact, my hearing is my least used sense as I often switch off when reading, immersing myself in the story.
I found that with an audio book I was lost and left feeling restless as I listened. My eyes and hands had nothing to do and I couldn’t get pulled into the story in the same way I do when reading. Because of this, I found my attention wandering and before I knew it, I had missed a chunk of the book.
UNABLE TO SKIP BACK
This leads me onto my final reason. It was so much harder to skip back to another section in the book. Often when I’m reading, I’ll pop back to a chapter and re-read it. It could be I missed something, or something has just become more important and I want to read it again. I can do that easily in a hardcopy book and although it’s a little more difficult in an eBook, it’s still possible. In an audio book though I have less awareness of where I am in the story with regards to how far through the book I am, which makes popping back to revisit a section a lot more difficult to do.
There we have it. My 5 reasons why audio books just aren’t for me. Like in everything, different people like different things and for me that does not include audio books. When I read, I like to lose myself in a story and for me that just wasn’t possible with an audio book.
What about you? Do you listen to audio books? Do you enjoy them or hate them too?
(photo credit Aaron Burden on Unsplash)
I completely agree with you on narrators, it’s really hard to get into an audiobook when the narrator is awful!
I sympathise with all your comments about audiobooks, but I have grown to love them. However, I do think there is a time and a place for an audiobook and a time to read a book, and it is very important to choose your audiobook carefully. In particular, I have listened to a lot of self-help books for entrepreneurs that have given me lots of great ideas for my toy business.
By contrast, I find novels just don’t work in the car. If you need to hang on every word, then the car is the wrong place as I need to react to the traffic and soon get distracted (rightly so) from what is being said. I would hate to blame the outcome of a novel for the reason I had an accident!
I agree and have to admit that since writing this post I have tried again with a biography and I have to admit I’m enjoying it a lot more.