Audiobooks – yay or nay?

When I started this blog back in January, I already had this idea in my mind because 2015 was the year I first gave audiobooks a go. It was during my GCSEs when I was struggling to find time to read that I turned to audiobooks to recuperate after a day of revision. I didn’t exactly want to tackle a seven book fantasy series or 800 page adult book because I knew I’d have to really concentrate to pick up all the details so I decided to try re-reading books instead. For those of you who haven’t tried audiobooks before, I would 10/10 recommend this way of easing you in because, like I mentioned before, starting a new book does require dedication and I just didn’t have the energy nor the brain capacity to be introduced to a bunch of new characters and a great, big world so I went with what I thought would be the best bet: Harry Potter. I’ve read the books once before and seen the movies countless times so I knew that, even if I did drift in and out it, I wouldn’t be missing anything that I didn’t already know. I raced through them in the end and began them again in November, listening to the them on the train to college, where I finished them a week before Christmas. Safe to say, I’m a fan.

Although it probably seems obvious, I didn’t quite realise the importance the voice of the reader has. If they’re too monotonous and lack in any sort of emotion, I find I really struggle to listen all the way through so I do click off within the first fifteen minutes if it’s just not working for me. I was lucky in the sense that the first audiobook I listened to was read by Stephen Frey so my first impression of the whole audiobook experience started out on a high. I say this because you shouldn’t be deterred if you’ve tried audiobooks in the past and had difficulty getting into them; in the same way that we all like different music, we all like the different sounds/tones/levels of emphasis in people’s voices so just listen to samples for a minute or two before you invest in an audiobook because, they’re good but, boy, are they generally very expensive.

I feel as though the price of audiobooks is a massive con (as in pros/cons, not a scam!) and I have, personally, never physically bought an audiobook nor do I think I ever will unless the cost of them goes down or I find one in a charity shop. I do, however, have a couple apps on my phone that provide you with free, classic audiobooks but you can easily find them on YouTube as well and I also have a subscription to Audible. Audible has a huge collection of books to choose from so that for £7.99 a month, you can purchase one book (and these audio files can be 10-15 hours long if you really want to get your money’s worth!) and the best part is that it stays on your account forever so you can listen to it again and again or share it with others (then maybe split the cost?). You’d expect to pay around £7.99 for a fiction book now-a-days anyway so you really are only paying for a different format which is far cheaper than what you can end up paying if you purchase them one-off.

Previously, I mentioned how I started out re-reading audiobooks and, to be perfectly honest, I exclusively re-read audiobooks. For whatever reason, I can’t concentrate on physically unread books as audiobooks regardless of how many or how little distractions I have around me. Actually, my favourite way to listen is to be in bed, with a cup of tea and a colouring book – trust me, it’s one of the most relaxing rituals that I swear by to help de-stress. Perhaps that’s the reason why, perhaps the feeling of having to listen so intently takes away from that calm energy I most enjoy about the experience. Either way, I’ve tried to listen to books straight off the bat but my attention wavers around the 20 minute mark and I find that I’d rather be listening to music, if I’m out listening to it, or reading a book, if I’m listening to it at home.

Lastly, although this isn’t something I’ve seen the benefit of for myself, I know that audiobooks tend to be great for those who drive to work or school. I can imagine that it can be frustrating knowing that if you were on a train or bus, you could pick up a book and read it there and then but audiobooks are most definitely the answer to those woes. They help you get that fix of reading we booklovers thrive off of and make the journey just that little less tedious.

So what do you think? Ever given audiobooks a go? Thinking about it now? Are you pro-audiobooks or anti-audiobooks? Let me know!

Happy Reading Bookworms!