Monday, October 24, 2011

Musing Monday: Audio Books, I Hardly Knew Ye...

Miz B over at Should Be Reading hosts a fun weekly blog event revolving around the wonderful world of books and reading. I've been making a serious effort to get back on the book-reading wagon over the past few months, and so far, I'm kinda proud of my progress. an attempt to draw out the dusty, dormant bibliophile within, I thought it would be cool to start participating in these memes.

Today's topic:

Do you listen to audiobooks? Why, or why not?

For the life of me, I just cannot get into books on tape. I have tried on several occasions in the past, but to no avail. The first time I ventured into the realm of audio books, I borrowed one of the Patricia Cornwell novels in the Kay Scarpetta series. I thought it was an excellent selection in which to break my audio book cherry-y'know....murder-mystery, strong, smart female detective heroine--all the stuff that makes for an intense, gripping read.

Yeah, so I totally fell asleep within the first half hour of listening.

I even gave it another shot the next day. Same results. I thought maybe it was the novel itself...but I'd read other Cornwell books the old fashioned way and hadn't found myself bored by any means. But I didn't want to give up so quickly. I wondered if perhaps it was the *way* in which I was taking in the audiobook. Maybe lying on my bed while the book played on my headphone set was just asking for trouble.

Next time I would be wiser.

I tried an Amy Tan (The Kitchen God's Wife) novel for my second book-on-tape experiment. And this time, I put the tape on my stereo while I was cleaning my house. I figured, I hate house cleaning, but maybe by having an audio book playing while I was participating in my least favorite chores, I would be distracted enough so I wouldn't realize I was cleaning in the first place. I imagined time flying by and becoming completely engrossed in the story, and then hours later, I would reach literary nirvana AND have a sparkling clean house! I really believed I was on to something here.

The problem with that program was two-fold. Firstly, whenever I needed to move into a different room of the house, I had to really crank up the stereo or else strain to hear the audio book (my stereo was in the living room). Secondly, I learned that I am not all that successful at doing two fairly concentrated activities at the same time. Either my mind would wander while scrubbing the bathroom and I'd miss out on a portion of the novel, or I'd slow down my cleaning process to follow along with the story and end up taking twice as long to load the dishwasher. Also, vacuuming is not conducive to listening to an audiobook.

I even tried to listen to audiobooks while at the gym. Unfortunately, I found that this made my workouts go slower. Or at least that's how it felt to me. When I listen to music during a workout, I feel pumped up, energized and before I know it, I've done a half hour on the elliptical machine. Listening to a book-on-tape made me feel like I was moving in slow motion...and five minutes would go by like five HOURS!

I wouldn't even dare attempt to put a book on tape/CD while driving. Just see my track record above. Yeah, could be dangerous.

So, that's where I stand on audiobooks. Not a fan, never was and doubtful that I ever will be. They just don't mesh well with me. Throughout my life, I've never cared for being read aloud to...back in grammar school, "story time" left me feeling a little restless. Maybe the book-on-tape concept is lost on me due to some residual effect from my school days. I much rather prefer to take a book into my own hands and soak up every beautiful written word on the page in front of me.

What's your take on audiobooks? Do they work for you?

{Image Via: Bookworm}

1 comment:

  1. We are slow-working out sisters! Love this post and your detail. Glad I found your blog and appreciate you stopping by to check out mine (Mom in Love with Fiction) today. Love finding new blogs to follow!