Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Attemping Audio


I know a lot of people LOVE audiobooks ... but I haven't been one of them. I love highlighting passages in my Kindle and I'm a fast reader. I'm just a very visual girl. I like to READ my books. I think my hearing is fine, but I just have a hard time catching everything when it is spoken (I always turn on subtitles with any show I watch). But with basketball season in full swing, and me spending an extra hour at various locations waiting (during practices or between games) I decided to give audiobooks a try. I had been reading on my phone, but and it was a little hard to concentrate ... and to walk and read at the same time. The thing that really made me make the switch, was I was getting a crick in my neck from looking down at my phone while I walked. 

I local library has audiobooks as well as digital reads for free borrowing. Easily downloadable and playable on my iphone. I did have a couple audiobooks on my wishlist, ones that were ONLY available as audio. One of them was available for immediate download, so I quickly grabbed it, Hubby's Bose noise-cancelling headphones and headed with the munchkin to practice. 

It worked out pretty well. I could walk faster and more comfortably with my eyes up. The headphones were good at cancelling out the background noise (and there is a lot, even out in the hallway) so I was able to concentrate on the words. At home, I tried them on the stationary bike ... although I can also read easily on my ipad there. I had a two hour wait during the munchkin's practice, but the location had a gym. I had my earphones on the entire two hours as I went from stationary bike to elliptical to recumbent to treadmill (30min on each). I made some progress on the book that night! I ended up listening as I drove in car (back in Spring2015 I posted my Music vs Silence post and I still haven't been able to go back to music while driving, but an audiobook is great) and even slipped on the headphones as I cleaned up the kitchen!

Anyway, here are my "recent reads" via audio ...

I'd read the first three books in the "Wolves of Mercy Falls" trilogy, and have had this on my "to read" list since it came out a while back. Unfortunately, my library only had it in physical format, or audiobook, and neither appealed to me at all. So I waited, and waited, and waited. I even debated buying it, but wasn't sure I wanted to spend $10. I'm glad I didn't either. I really didn't care for this installment. The only one I recommend totally is book 1 "Shiver". But now I can mark this off my list.

As I had liked my audiobook experience after all, and I still had games and practices going on, I looked for another audiobook as I finished up my first one. I selected my library's option to show me ones that were available for immediate download (some have a waiting list) and "Glow" sounded interesting. 

This book takes place in deep space, with people traveling on a ship to establish a "new earth". The perspective shifts between Kieran and Waverly, but as they are separated, it would stick with one storyline for so long, then go back to the other, which left me a little distanced from both.  There was also a very interesting ... I'm not even sure if it's positive or negative ... approach to religion on God. 

Story aside, the audio had some accents and inflections that got rather annoying to me. I know it's to help differentiate the "voices" but having one kid sound like he has a stuffed up nose all the time was a little hard to handle.

As I finished up "Glow" I went through my library list of audiobooks and put quite a few more on my "wish" list. I'm still leaning toward books my library has only as audio, but if my listening trend continues, I'll probably pick books that I COULD read digitally but go ahead and pick up the audio version.

I did remember a recommendation from a friend for "Dark Life" ... and looking for it at my library and finding it only available in audio format. So that was my next selection ... and I'm already about halfway through. That's one thing that is a little harder for me with audio ... I don't know how close I am to being done. I realize there is a table of contents, and that times are listed next to the chapters/sections, but can't see my status simply. Physical books still corner the market for that feature, but even digital downloads show a progress bar closing on completion.

Another struggle I've had with audiobooks ... and admittedly, some of this can be attributed to user error ... was having it skip around. This happened the most in the first book I tried. I'm not sure if I was accidentally pushing buttons moving things forward and back, or if I'd leave it running (but not audible to me) ... and let me tell you it's pretty hard to find you place again if you lose it with audiobooks! Physical books to have an edge there as well. But I'm adapting ...

I've enjoyed my adventure in audio more than I thought I would. I know ... I should probably listen to something a little more educational or uplifting than more YA paranormal/scifi stuff. We'll see. And of course I still have a regular digital book that I am "reading" reading, when I don't want to have headphones on.  Check back next month for more recent reads :)

2 comments:

  1. I've never been able to get into audio books either. I try the occasionally when I go running, but I find I never enjoy them as much than if I am flipping the pages as I read.
    Oddly, I enjoyed Sinner, but Cole was my favorite bad boy and I liked him better than even the main characters in the Shiver series, so I think that is why I liked this book.
    I haven't read Glow, it's on my "to read" list.
    Funny story about audio skipping around. I downloaded a book from a library and was listening to it out on one of my runs, and apparently they had recorded the chapters wrong when they downloaded and I ended up half way through listening to the last chapter only to realize it too late and ruined the entire book. That's my problem with audio, my mind loses interest and I apparently didn't notice the skip to the end, LOL

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  2. 1.5 hours of cardio at the gym?! No wonder you're blowing us all away on Fitbit ;)

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