5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Audiobook

When I first started listening to audiobooks I was a little nervous each time I downloaded one. Would I be able to get into it, would I pay attention to it, would I regret listening to it instead of reading it? So far I’ve only stopped listening to one audiobook and when I looked back at how many audiobooks I’ve listened to this year, I counted eighteen. I was really impressed that I only gave up on one book out of nineteen, especially since I always had a strange aversion to the idea of audiobooks! Here are my tips for a successful audiobook experience:

GO TO THE LIBRARY FOR YOUR FIRST AUDIOBOOK
If you’re not sure whether or not audiobooks are going to work for you (and I understand that they may not work for everyone), try getting one from your library first. I scrolled through the audiobooks that I could check out from my library online, found one that I was willing to try and downloaded it. If I didn’t like it, I wasn’t out any money, but if I did I found a new way to “read” books–and a way to “read” during my bus commute (since reading an actual book makes me carsick).

LISTEN TO A SAMPLE
I’ve found that the narrator makes a huge difference. In fact, the narrator is the reason I stopped reading the one audiobook that I dropped. I must not have listened to the sample for that one. I’ve found that the two websites that I get audiobooks from (my library and Audible) have long samples. I usually get a good feel for the narrator and how they’re going to read the story. I have eagerly picked up audiobooks and turned away from them based on the sample.

FIND OUT WHAT GENRES WORK BEST FOR YOU
The more you listen to audiobooks, you’ll also discover which books
you enjoy listening to the most. I’ve found that I really like listening to
mysteries, young adult and “chick lit,” as I feel that these genres
really lend themselves to being listened to. Another thing to consider: when it comes to my favorite authors, I know that I’ll want to take my time and linger over their words. As I’m looking through audiobooks I always take a moment to consider whether or not I’ll want to read at a slower pace and see the words on the page, or if I’m fine listening to someone else read them. If I think I’ll want to read the words for myself, I always opt for reading the book rather than listening to it.

IF YOUR  MIND IS ELSEWHERE, STOP LISTENING
If your mind is wandering when you’re “reading” your book, stop listening to it and turn on something else instead. I do this whenever I realize I’m not paying attention to the words. If I don’t, I’m always confused when I start the book again later.

USE AUDIOBOOKS TO REREAD YOUR FAVORITE STORIES
If there’s a book that you’d like to reread, but you don’t want to take the time to actually read it, check out the audiobook. I’ve reread books quite a bit this way and I always like the perspective on the story that the audiobook gives.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR LISTENING TO AUDIOBOOKS? IF YOU HAVEN’T LISTENED TO THEM, ARE YOU CURIOUS TO TRY ONE?

If you’re curious about audiobooks, check out my thoughts on audiobooks and six ways I incorporate audiobooks into my day.


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