Thoughts on Audio Books

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.

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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!

Summer Reading 2017

My relationship with reading these past four years has been… complicated. I read all the time for my program which often means I was reading about 200-300 pages a week. This number also depended on how many classes I took that semester and how intensive they were. Point being, I was forced to read every day, often ploughing through material I wasn’t necessarily interested in, in order to be able to write papers and do assignments.

I had no time to read leisurely between reading for school, doing papers, attending class, and keeping up a social life (among other things). Eventually my love for reading dwindled to almost nothing. I was no longer asking for as many books for Christmas or my birthday. Instead I turned to magazines, manga, and graphic novels to try and fill that void which, at the end of the day, are no substitute to a good book.

I’m not too sure what changed recently but I have finally come out of my reading slump! In order to make the best of this before I start my masters in September, I decided to make a summer reading list of 10 books I want to try to read in the next two and a half months!

38221. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

  • I’m already halfway through this one but I still wanted to put it in here anyways because it’s so good!

3782.png2. Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

  • Another one I already started but still one I want to include as I’m only a few pages in and have kind of put on hold until I finish “A Gathering of Shadows”.

37883. Wildwood by Colin Meloy

  • I started this one last fall but never got around to finishing it and it’s so dang cute and fun I’m really surprised I haven’t finished the entire series already!

37954. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

  • I’ve had this one for a while just sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. Even though it’s one of my top reads I never got around to it so I’m thinking it’s long overdue. I also heard they are making a movie adaptation, is this true?

38105. 1984 by George Orwell

  • I’m rereading this one primarily because I forgot a lot of the main plot points and I confuse it with animal farm a lot (don’t ask me how). I also heard that Murakami’s 1Q84 relates to it a lot so I wanted it to be fresh in my mind before I tackle 1Q84.

38166. The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth

  • This is the only non-fiction on this list and this is where you can see my anthropology side creep in. It’s an ethnography but still sounds really interesting and fun all the same and I’ve been dying to read it.

38137. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

  • I mostly want to read this before watching the television show, which I hear is getting a lot of good reviews.

37978. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  • I started this one when it first came out (I bought it the day of its release actually) then life happened and I got distracted and never finished it.

38349. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

  • I mostly never read this one because I wanted to reread 1984. Now that I will be, I wanted to get to 1Q84 before I’m swamped in school again.
  1. I’m going to leave this slot open to account for any book I might discover or buy in the next few months. Because, let’s be honest, I’m weak when it comes to books.

 

If you would like to follow my progress, check out the books I want to read, or read some of my reviews, you can check out my Goodreads page here!

New Favorite Game?

I think I might have a new favorite game or mini game, I still haven’t decided which category specifically I want to place it in, and it’s called Journey. It was originally released in 2012, so I’m a little late to this hype train but I’m on it now! I’m not a huge gamer but I was bored out of my mind the other day and it was suggested that I might like it (and it happened to be free for download for Playstation Plus people) so I thought, why not. Boy am I glad I did.

It’s one of those games that engages you in all aspects of it you don’t want even get up to use the bathroom. Unfortunately as it is a mini game I ended up finishing it in just a couple of hours but at the same time I liked that I played it straight through because it just felt like it flowed better without stopping. I loved it so much I almost played it again right after having just completed it but I decided against it just to hold on to all that was amazing about it from playing it for the first time. But I definitely will be playing it again really soon.

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You play as a cloaked traveller in the desert who sets out on a journey to reach the top of the mountain where you encounter puzzles and collect charges to lengthen your scarf to help you fly. You might also run into other “travelers” along the way who are actually other players, I ran into ten people during my journey and as a person who prefers to play alone I found it rather fun to see them and help each other through some of the levels.

Not only was the story engaging but the graphics and art are so smooth and beautiful I fell in love almost instantly with it. Not to mention the visuals paired with the really wonderful score that had just the right amount of crescendoing moments to make the hairs on your neck stand up. I feel like just as standalone music and if you had no intention of playing the game you would still enjoy the score, but honestly it gives more feeling if you have played the game and especially when you’re playing the game.

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I have included a link to the score here for your listening pleasure if you’re so interested and if you’re a nerd like me who likes behind the scene stuff then you’ll enjoy this particular link because it also had annotated commentary by the composer all throughout the video as well as concept art and fan art on screen.

Overall, I strongly recommend this game to everyone, even if gaming is not really your thing because it’s really easy to pick up and get into. This game gets a definite 4.5 stars out of 5 only because my only complaint is that it was too damn short.

 

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the pictures, they are screenshots I took while I was playing and all the art belongs to the proper artists, developers, and creators.