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Audiobooks -- Your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by tplyons, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    What are your thoughts on Audiobooks?

    I always thought they were for old people. But since I spend ten hours a week commuting, I can "read" books while I'm already doing something else.

    Audible.com is possibly one of the greatest inventions of recent memory.
  2. I listen to them and lectures from iTunes University on my commute/at my desk. Never used that site, but I will check it out.

  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I currently work graveyard shift at a job where I can listen to tunes/shows/books on my earphones and not mess up my work, so Audible has been a great asset. It's expensive compared to buying used paperbacks of the same books, but right now it's worth it to me.

    The big challenge is finding books that have good value for the price, i.e. good book, good narrator, and with a long running time. I sort my searches first by length! I would never do that with a print book.

    There have been a couple of instances so far for me where listening was actually better than reading, where the live narration actually improved upon the printed word. "Shantaram" by Gregory Roberts is a real treasure, I recommend it very very highly. Firstly as a great book, but the narration is Oscar-worthy and takes it to another level. Also in "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen, one of the two narrators brings the story to a much more human and real level than I think I'd have felt just reading the page.

    I also listen to tons of podcasts, not from Audible--thankfully they are free.
  4. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I like 'em. I first got into Sam Harris stuff with an audiobook. "End of Faith" was so well read that I prefer the narrated version to the print version.
  5. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    I tore a chunk out of my cornea a couple of years back. Laying in bed, eyes bandaged shut, loaded up on vicodin and listening to the audiobook version of Brave New World was actually one of my most enjoyable experiences ever.

    And they're good on long plane flights, too.
  6. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    I've not got into them myself, but I have friends who swear by them.

    It seems to me like a bit of a weird idea, I don't really feel like it would work for me, but I have a feeling I may be surprised when I get around to trying one.
  7. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    Audiobooks? Whats next...written music?
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It is better than not getting into books at all.
  9. They're great for road trips and for when you are doing a whole day of cleaning. Just blast a book. It's actually a skill to listen, so I find it beneficial for my brain to be paying attention.
  10. Dale D Dilly

    Dale D Dilly Monster

    Jul 1, 2008
    I haven't really done the book thing, but I use audible.com to get some of the "Modern Scholar" lecture series and listen to those when I'm in the car. I figured I might as well be learning something while I'm doing nothing. The courses go into much greater depth than something you'd get from the discovery channel, and they're much better organized and comprehensive than the stuff you have to wade through with itunes U.
  11. ROGI


    Apr 25, 2005
    Croatia, Europe
    they are good. if you find a good one. had my first one 3 years ago while going on a flight from Boston to London - "Hyperion" by Dan Simmons. now, as i spend a lot of time in public transport, i've had been listening to brian greene, hawking, etc etc. kinda fun to listen to popular science books on the bus.
  12. fjadams

    fjadams Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    I'm addicted to audible.com and their fine fare. Couldn't even imagine driving anywhere without mine. And listen to them most of the time at work.
  13. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I havent really tried them myself. I feel as though, with my short attention span, it'd be too easy to tune them out and Id miss a lot info/story.
    I like reading books.
  14. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I absolutely love them. Between work/wife/kids I have no time to sit down and read a good book but I can burn through a few audiobooks a week while I'm driving/exercising/cooking dinner/etc. Don't know if you have this available in your area but my local library offers them free online with a library card. I can get up to ten at a time.

    I've also found that for most subjects, excluding non-fiction books where I like to flip back an forth and often will re-read certain sections, I greatly prefer hearing the 'music' of the language versus reading it on the page.
  15. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Reading "End of Faith" now in paperback. Wow!

    Like the old Woody Allen joke "I've been doing all my own reading since I turned 40" I prefer reading but can understand the performance aspect of listening to the author or narrator.
  16. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I thought I would hate them but I listen at work in the woodshop and it makes the day go faster. A normal length novel usually lasts about the length of my workday.

    If you want to hear audiobooks at their best I suggest any of Douglas Adam's books. He reads them himself and uses his voice and pace to bring the characters to life. I actually prefer listening to him even more than I enjoy reading them and that's saying a LOT.
  17. livinitup0


    Dec 22, 2011
    I've listened to audiobooks for about 6 hours a day every weekday for several years. Yeah I'd say I'm a fan of them.

    Makes doing household chores more enjoyable too.
  18. I'm not a fan.

    Hearing it read in someone elses voice just isn't the same as forming the image mentally (well, for me). Though it's also not the kind of thing I'd do on the fly, I like being able to take some time doing nothing but sitting quietly enjoying a good book.