I love being told a story. I don’t know how I forgot that, but it took me until last year to remember. Now I have an addiction to audiobooks. A bonus, my reading volume has skyrocketed. I now read while I cook, shower, get ready for bed, knit, workout, and drive.
I know a lot of people don’t like audio books. They may find it hard to focus on the reading. They may not like the reader. They may just not like being told the story. Some books are so amazing when read to you though. Some readers are amazing (Jim Dale for Harry Potter being the winner).
For me, some books need to be read to me. I can’t get into them any other way. Recently I read The Jewel in the Crown (the first of the Raj Quartet books). I have been trying to get through it for a year. I like books about India and am fascinated by the end of British dominance there. I should have been very excited about the book. I should have finished it in a month. Except, I couldn’t. My problem was the style of the story. It was a one-sided interview. You only read the answers, not the questions. Once I got my hands on the audio book I finished it in a week and a half. The reader wasn’t especially great, but listening to it helped me find a rhythm with the style. I could better imagine the scene and the interview because of the reading.
Other times the reader makes me want to listen even if the book doesn’t thrill me. There are some people who were born to read audiobooks. I had no interest in the How To Train Your Dragon series, but the entire series is now on my Overdrive wish list because David Tennant reads the audiobook. I love his voice and the way he read the book gave life to each character. The same can be said for Jim Dale who reads all the Harry Potter books. Wil Wheaton reading Ready Player One was the reason I finally gave in to listening to it.
I am not trying to convince you to give audiobooks a chance- that is unless you just needed someone, anyone to tell you this. I am celebrating a medium. Also, don’t poo-poo it when I talk about an audiobook’s medium specific qualities. This is why.
Here are a few of my favorite audiobooks that I haven’t mentioned above:
- William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (felt like the classic Star Wars radio program)
- The Strain (Ron Pearlman is the reader)
- As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (Cary, the other cast members, and the creators read their parts- Cary is such a gracious reader).
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir (Jenny Lawson is freaking hysterical and I suggest this book any way you can get it).
- Anything written and read by Sarah Vowell (I love her voice and style)
- Bossypants (Tina Fey has conversations with the crew during the reading)
- The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (This is the first of the Veronica Mars books and Kristen Bell manages to actually sound like Logan. It’s the better audio book of the two books)