Welcome to the Wonderful World of Audio

I’ve developed a new addiction for audiobooks. Moving from NYC to the suburbs has meant sacrificing the hour-or-so of reading I used to get done on the subway each day – and that was just to and from work, not including any other excursions further into Manhattan. In order to make up for the loss of this precious reading time, I’ve turned to my local library – where would we all be without libraries?* - and opened up a world of books-on-CD.

This isn’t my first foray into audio. I listened to Pride and Prejudice on my iPod last year (my fiancĂ© even bought me really cool, big, red headphones for this adventure that are infinitely better for spoken word than the standard Apple earbuds). I also received a copy of The Swan Thieves on CD from Hachette Audio, and I absolutely loved it – both the story, and the audio edition (see my review here).

That said, this is just the beginning of my journey into the world of audio, and it marks one of the resolutions I have made to myself not to sacrifice reading time in the mayhem of moving and starting a new job and wedding planning. Going forward, I will mark any reviews of books I listen to, and will review content as well as audio presentation wherever possible.

Anyone else addicted to audio? How do you optimize your reading time? How do you decide what you’d like to listen to versus read?

Stay tuned (no pun intended) for a review of Lies My Teacher Told Me (Audio) – I’m on the last CD of the book now, and then off to the library for the next selection!

*That’s a question that could prompt a whole ‘nother post… or a string of posts… keep an eye out for this, I think I’m on to something.


  1. Audio books are rare and costly in my part of the world. We still totally depend on normal books!

  2. I am not addicted, but I have also recently started my audio journey and I am increasingly enjoying it.

    I started listening to audibooks after my first eye operation earlier this year. I began with Pride and Prejudice and then started working my way through the Harry Potters (read by Stephen Fry). I then listened to the Hobbir and now I am listening to A Room with a View and really loving it.

    I wouldn't prioritise them over a book but they definitely have their time and place.

    I have particularly been enjoying listening to a chapter before I go to bed! It really helps to fall asleep

  3. Mystica - That's too bad! Can you buy from iTunes? Not sure how international rights for audio work on there, but those audiobooks tend to be much cheaper here than CDs.

    Becky - I'm the same - I wouldn't prioritize, but I'm enjoying a chance to get some "reading" done during my commute, especially as I haven't been able to curl up with a book for weeks.

  4. Hey there Kerry! What a great post! If you're interested in audiobooks, there are a ton of audiboook listeners over on AudiobookCommunity.com. We launched the site in June, and already there's a ton of fun stuff on there (not to mention some great listening recommendations).
    Hope to see you there, and happy listening!!
    Allison (of AudiobookCommunity.com)

  5. I find audiobooks extremely addicting for a couple reasons:

    Nothing can beat the personality the narrators can give a book. In reading Northanger Abbey, I got a completely different initial vibe from one character than my fellow readers because the narrator added a humorous/sarcastic tone to his speech. What came off as pompous and snide to the others came off as sarcastic and charming to me.

    The other perk I've found to audiobooks is that they allow me to focus on books and finish them faster. Of course, I tend to play them at 2x speed (or 1.5x, depending) on my laptop, and that's not really possible on the go...

  6. I have listen to audiobooks since the time of walkman's - when the kids were younger I just didn't have time to read as much as I wanted to, so I would listen to books when walking, cleaning the house, sometimes when I was cooking (burned an occasional meal). We had a library near by at the time that had TONS of tapes.

    Now I listen on my ipod - always when exercising or walking. I go through stages of being addicted - right now, not so much.

    Choosing what to listen too - Just something that strikes my interest. However, if I can't stand the narrator's voice, I can't listen to the book - there is an English woman who often reads Dickens and other English authors for Recorded Books who I just can't listen too. On the other hand, I love Barbara Rosenblat and will listen to just about anything she narrates.

    If I love the book I have been known to read the book and then sometime later, listen to it.

    Happy listening, Kerry!

  7. Vicky - You can do that, speed up audio? I had no idea! I kind of like audio because it forces me to slow down and listen to every word (I have a bad habit of starting to skim when plots pick up, and then I have to go back and re-read chunks to catch all the language/details I've missed).

    Ann - I love the idea of listening while doing chores! Thanks for the tip. :-)

  8. I am a recent convert to audiobooks. I travel by car from NYC to New London, CT about once per week and its great to have audiobooks to keep me company of the 4 hour RT drive.

    When in Manhattan, I walk to work and have taken to listening to books on my walk each day. It doesn't replace my regular reading but is a great addition!

  9. I LOVE them and always have one going. In the car, in bed at night, while exercising. You MUST try to get the audio of I Thought You Were Dead; Pete Nelson; I loved it!


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