My relationship with audio books has always been… non-existent, primarily because I used to strongly dislike them. You could almost say they were my enemies of the book world. This, now that I think about it, is funny to say because when I was young both my parents read to me before bed on regular occasions. Because they did I grew up to absolutely adore books and reading. I was so much of a book nerd that I was the type of kid that would bring a book with her everywhere she went and I mean everywhere. Quick drives to the corner store, grocery shopping, visiting family, going to get ice cream, road trips, I always made sure to leave the house with a book in hand.
The problem I had with audio books was that I always saw them as cheating. If it wasn’t you who actually sat down with the physical words it didn’t count. I used to think audio book users were too lazy to put the time in to read a book themselves or couldn’t sit still long enough to enjoy the reading experience.
As I’ve gotten older and my daily schedule is busier, particularly during 8 months out of the year, I began to grow desperate for new ways of fitting reading into my schedule. I would stay up later even though my eyes were tired just so I could read for fun. Because of this I would be re-reading the same pages, sometimes even the same lines, over and over again because I was too tired to register the words I was looking at.
The book that eventually pushed me over the edge into the audio book world was George Orwell’s 1984. I read half of it years ago but I found I could never finish it because Orwell put so much time into description I would get bored. Every year I try and pick it up but I never do it. Desperate to finally finish it I decided I would face my enemy the audio book. But here’s the plot twist: I’m actually really loving it.
Because of how much I have enjoyed listening to 1984 I ended up signing up for Audible’s 30 day free trial that gives you one free credit to try any audio book you want. I went for another book I had been having a hard time getting into which was “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie.
Might I say that this has been my favorite audio book so far! Dan Stevens, who I have know since Downton Abbey, does the narration and does a wonderful job at giving the characters life and personality! His voice is perfect and calming and makes the whole listening experience much more enjoyable!
Looking back on this experience now, I can see how ridiculous I was. I judged something I didn’t understand when really I had no idea what I was missing! Since this new discovery I have been talking to everyone about audio books and their thoughts on audio books. Most laugh at me for thinking it as “cheating” but also understand how.
All this being said, I still won’t say that I’m officially converted to audio books nor will I say that I’m going to become an avid audio book user. No. I like my books and one day I will have that library in my house. What I can say is that, for the right books, with the right narrator I will use them. I can also say that I was wrong about them. I’m still a little unsure about them and a part of me does still feel like I’m cheating at reading but at the same time it has made doing chores, cooking, and running errands so much more enjoyable.
What are your thoughts on audio books? Do you like them? Swear by them? Hate them as I once did? Let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts!