Bookish Ramblings part 18: Happy New year and trials with Audiobooks

Wow it’s 2018 already and I’ve realised that I have not done a traditional bookish ramblings for a little while now, So here is a happy new year post, cunningly disguised in a ramble about audiobooks.

Before Christmas I decided to give Audible a go, I had a ton of children’s Christmas presents to wrap and I was a bit full to bursting with Christmas music (my usual go to wrapping background) so I decided to take up an Audible free trial.  I have a lot of time for the concept of audio books, earlier last year Mr Playground and myself were thinking of starting up an audio book business, given his skills, but it didn’t really amount to anything, sadly.  But during that process I realised that I had never actually listened to an audio book in totality.  So I chose “This Mortal Coil” by Emily Suvada as I had been utterly pulled in by it’s tag line of “There’s no DNA code for run like hell” when it formed part of some swag contained in a fairyloot box.  I went in with an open mind about it and had it merrily playing along in the background as I wrapped.  Trouble is that by completing another task at the same time I wasn’t giving the story my full attention so I was missing things and had to keep on pressing the “go back 30 seconds” button. The other thing that made my mind wander was the monotone of the narration – now, i’m not banishing the narrator; reading aloud for hours is a skilled process which needs to be measured, I get that.  Again however, I found myself distracted by the fact that I would have put a different inflection on the end of a sentence or pulled a completely different tone from the written words being spoken aloud.  I decided at that point that my stress at getting the gifts wrapped in time to go and see the new Star Wars may have been the problem, so I switched to listening in the car, which was pointless as I had to (obviously) concentrate on the road, so again I was missing important information, and when driving it was not cool to start hitting the back button, even with it’s handy car feature.

Throughout this tribulation, one thing that stood out for me though was that this was an awesome story, it was heart stopping in places and all I could think throughout was how much I wanted to actually read this as a book!

So with 6 hour of audio left, I decided to delete the app and cancel my audible subscription.  I went to Waterstones with my Christmas gift card and picked up a good old fashioned paper copy (with gorgeous formatting that I need to learn how to do.)  Why?  Because even with my 50/50 attention to the story I loved it and I knew I wanted to read it in my own voice.  I didn’t want to spoil the ending for myself so I did what I should have done hours of listening ago. 

It’s currently in my TBR pile and I’ll probably get to it in a few months but I’m ok with that, I feel that through my many distractions there was a large percentage of the story that didn’t sink in and that it will be like reading a brand new book when I get to it, and I still have no ending spoilers!

If you are an audio book lover please don’t feel affronted by this, Audio is fantastic medium for books, just not for me.  I am too easily distracted and I can’t just sit and listen to a book for hours without doing something else.  The only true relaxation and enjoyment of books I get is by sitting and reading either a paper or kindle version

I’m glad I’ve given it a go, but I’ll be sticking to paper from now on.  How about you?  Have you given audio books a go, do you rate them?  Do you have any tips on how to minimise distraction?

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