Recently, I’ve been starting to venture into audiobooks. (Thank goodness for Overdrive!) I’ve always wanted to try audiobooks because I like the idea of listening to audiobooks as I do mundane chores and tasks. However, I have also been hesitant because I knew the success of an audiobook would greatly depend on the narrator, and I prefer to immerse myself in stories without distractions.
What has worked for me
I’ve noticed that I enjoy reading non-fiction books as audiobooks. Usually, I get bored quickly with non-fiction books when I read them. With the right narrator, however, they can make the book very engaging. I think I’ll continue listening to non-fiction audiobooks.
I also enjoy rereading books as audiobooks. It’s a fun way to enjoy books I already love. I also don’t get as frustrated when I miss something because I was doing a task and not fully paying attention to the audio. That happens a lot when I listen to audiobooks while I’m working.
With the perfect narrator, the audiobook can be absolutely fantastic. Personally, the narrator makes the biggest difference. I especially love it when the narrator makes a point to differentiate between characters. If a narrator uses the same voice for all of the characters, it simply annoys me.
What does not work for me
Sound effects. I was listening to an audiobook for A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, and there were sound effects, like for the rain in the background. I don’t know why, but I did not enjoy that at all. I found it distracting, and it no longer felt like listening to an audiobook.
I did also realize that I’m not good with complex fantasy worlds in audiobooks. For example, Codex Alera by Jim Butcher has a complex world. I was listening to Academ’s Fury, which is the second book in the series, and I was just getting so lost. I thought I was fine because I endured all of the world building in the first book, but apparently, there was still more to explore. I ended up switching to the ebook.
What I am listening to right now
I’m currently listening to The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen and narrated by Katherine Kellgren. It is absolutely phenomenal. Delving into this story, I was worried that I would get lost because it is a fantasy novel. Also, a lot of the book bloggers/reviewers that I follow have had mixed feelings regarding The Queen of the Tearling. Some really enjoyed it, and others found the main character, Kelsea Glynn, a bit annoying. Personally, I am thoroughly enjoying the audiobook. I think Katherine Kellgren is an absolutely fabulous narrator. Her narration is truly a performance. I believe she lends an extra layer of enjoyment to the story. I’m only at about chapter 6 of the story, but it has been quite difficult to put down. I haven’t found Kelsea to be an annoying character (yet), and I’m interested to see how she faces her enemies as she takes her rightful places as the queen.
What are your thoughts and experiences with audiobooks? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments. 🙂