I’ve settled into a rare reading slump. My already relaxed reading pace has almost slowed to a halt. I just haven’t had the desire to read the books I’ve opened. I know this isn’t necessarily a reflection on the books, and it’s more than likely just me. To remedy this slump, I thought I’d change it up a bit…with an audiobook.
I’ve never listened to an audiobook (those times in elementary school don’t count) I always thought it was an odd concept—an audiobook? Isn't that cheating? You’re not reading, you’re listening to someone tell a story orally, a recording. I couldn’t understand how people could pay attention and absorb everything on the page, if their eyes weren’t scanning the words into their brains. This went doubly for those who listened to audiobooks while driving or cleaning or exercising etc…but I tried one anyways to see if it was something I could handle.
And I was right. I cannot do audiobooks for all of the reasons mentioned above. I could only listen to the story when I was doing absolutely nothing else, which meant I was listening right before bedtime. Now if you’re like me, you’re never not doing something…and when you “aren’t doing anything”, you’re actually on the internet, watching television, texting, doing household chores, etc. But nope, that wouldn’t cut it. When I listened to the audiobook I had to be in complete silence, or I would zone out and miss the story…or fall asleep. Falling asleep happened a lot.
I think I can blame my inability to focus on the choice of audiobook. I chose The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larrson, the second book in the popular millennium trilogy. I still wanted to know what happened in the series, but didn’t want to commit the time to reading, so I thought trying the audiobook might make it more interesting. It didn’t. I barely made it through 3 hours of an 18 hour recording…and from what I can remember, it’s mostly rehashing what happened in the first book and describing central characters that readers already know about. I liked that the person narrating had a British accent (that’s always nice), but I didn’t like his Caribbean impersonations, or how his voice quivered creepily when he read as Lisbeth. The truth is I wasn’t impressed with the first book, so I should have known better than to use an audiobook, something I’m already skeptical about, to reignite interest in a series. Needless to say, I won’t be finishing the series. I think I’ll just watch the movies to see what happens.
And yet, with all that said, I want to try another one. I think an awesome book can turn around this not so great experience. I was thinking about trying Seal Team Six or Anansi Boys as audiobooks.
What do we think about these choices? And am I the only one with an audiobook complex?
top image: flickr-joebeone