There was a time in the not so distant past that I wouldn’t touch an audio-book. My thought was that listening to a book being read isn’t really reading it. You don’t read. You listen. That was back when I had lots of time to read, so much so that I had the time to finish books that I didn’t even like. Ugh. What a waste.
That was before Kid #1, who I went into labor with, in the middle of the sixth Harry Potter book and never finished reading. And before Kid #2. And then Kids #3 and #4. I decided that if I was ever going to catch up at all on all the reading that I wanted to do in life, I’d have to suck it up and listen to some of it during my commute to work.
More: 5 audiobooks that will make your commute suck a little bit less
Many years later, I don’t need to rationalize my audio-reading anymore. I am enjoying books again. Instead of slugging through books or not even starting them for fear that I might not be able to finish, I am reading longer books, and doing more “regular” reading aside from audio-titles. I have now been audio-reading for a few years and have since met some very smart people who also listen to books, some of whom are librarians, like me, which in my mind qualifies as knowing books.
While I am proudly not a book snob, I am picky about what audio-titles that I will read.
Here are my rules:
- The narrator’s voice. If I don’t like the voice, we are done. I happen to think all British narrators are acceptable. That’s just me. If I don’t like the voice, I move on to another. Bonus points for books read by the author.
- Unabridged. Always.
- Audio titles must be ones that I will never want to pick up and read in book form. This means that either I have tried to start them, and they were too hard to get into, or else, they are so lightweight that I would never waste my precious reading time on them. Or even more so, long books that I would never read in paper form are great as audio.
- No romance. Never. Ever. I don’t want to hear about it. Reading these by audio is like saying you “read” Penthouse. No. I will only read romance in paper form and even then I am picky about it!
I used to have a rule that I would only listen to non-fiction audiobooks, and that worked for a bit, until I tried a fiction book and loved it (The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, read by the author.) Now I am open to lots of books to try as long as they fit within my reading rules. I would have missed out on some great books, if I hadn’t changed my mind about whether or not to enjoy a book that is being read to me.