“There were literally three seperate couples sitting around the fire making out, like some sort of organised kissing orgy, and half of me was like, ew, and the other half was like, wow, I sure do wish that was me.”First line in Loveless by Alice Oseman
Hi, and welcome to another rambly post from me, and this time it’s about audiobooks. Audiobooks have seen such a rise in popularity over many years now, so I’ve obviously also attempted them to see if I could jump on the bandwagon. The results have been mixed, to say the least.
First of all, I have to say that I’ve probably read less than ten books as an audiobook so you could argue that I haven’t given them a proper chance. However, every time I try, I have the same feeling of losing something. It’s hard to explain but I get the sense that I’m not as “into” the book and don’t have as strong feelings about it as if I read it physically. That’s why picking to read something as an audiobook feels like I’m deliberately choosing to miss out on a great experience. Or rather, a possible great experience. Naturally, I’m not too inclined to do that and would never do it with a book I had high expectations for.
Another problem I have with audiobooks is that I simply have a hard time staying focused. My mind is easily distracted so I find that I HAVE to do some mindless task while listening and I think that limits the time I’m able to read. Then there’s also my problem of having a hard time imagining scenes from the books in my head, especially if we’re talking about something from fantasy books that I have no frame of reference for. While listening to a book, it’s very hard to pause or go back to reread stuff which is what I do to deal with this problem in physical books. I mean, you CAN do that with an audiobook but it’s such a hassle. Contemporaries are definitely easier for me to go the audiobook route with in that regard, but I just don’t read a whole lot of those.
So why do I not just accept that audiobooks aren’t for me and move on instead of writing a whole post about it? Well, I clearly WILL NOT accept it. I know reading so many physical books and ebooks are bad for my eyes which aren’t great to begin with. My optician has reminded me of this and I have two friends who now need glasses after taking degrees that required A LOT of reading. I mean, I know reading 60 physical books a year isn’t great in the long run so audiobooks could help me a lot. And I also really want to interact with all the content from the bookish community about audiobooks.
Another reason I’ve been thinking about audiobooks lately is that I discovered that I can listen to audiobooks while I’m at work. My job as a mail carrier is the exact kind of mindless task I need to be able to listen to something while doing it. Well, when the weather is good at least. Including my 90-minute commute every day, that’s about 8 hours of audiobook-listening time. And I’m not using that time! My TBR is ever-expanding and now I have the thought in my head that I’m wasting time! Don’t worry, I’m not actually stressing about it, but I hope you understand why I’m suddenly thinking about my relationship with audiobooks. Because if I feel like I’m “wasting” a reading experience by going the audiobook route, is that what should matter more than wasting reading time? Or do I just feel that it’s a wasted experience because I’ve only ever picked mediocre books to listen to? See, I told you this was complicated. Do I bite the bullet and listen to a book I expect to be 5-stars to test whether it’s just me who hasn’t given audiobooks a proper chance? Or do I say fuck it and only occasionally listen to a contemporary that’s probably going to get 3 stars? Because could that not be okay, too? I mean, I’m not a reader who wants to read all 5-stars books anyway so maybe those 3-star books I’ll inevitably read might as well be audiobooks?
Have I completely lost you now? Don’t worry, I think I’ve rambled on long enough, so now I invite YOU to ramble in the comments. Do you listen to audiobooks? How much? Do you recognize any of the feelings I have towards audiobooks? Do you have any advice? Please help me.