Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Chuckles Chat #12: Audio Books

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

This week I'm talking generally about audio books, an area that I have little contact with in the book world. It allows you to 'read' while driving without causing accidents and makes the commute more interesting, you can 'read' while you prepare a meal or do housework or listen on your headphones as you work in the garden. It lets people with no time to sit with a physical book in their hands to keep up with reading something. Overall, very useful for the busy reader. Why is Chuckles not embracing this popular book reading trend then?

Basically it comes down mainly to the cost. I decided I wanted to get the Harry Potter audio books read by Stephen Fry and I do love the set. However it cost me a small fortune to get the darn things. It's way too much money for me to grab all my favourite books in this format on my book budget. In fact the Harry Potter books are the only audio books that I own. And anyone who read my discussion post about libraries knows why I never use their services so I cannot just borrow them instead. I also have no plans to join anything online where I'm paying monthly or yearly to join things like Audible. I'd rather spend my money on paperbacks!

The second issue for me also relates to me not being able to try before I buy. I'll use the Harry Potter analogy again. Some American readers did not like the narration of the Harry Potter books by Jim Dale whereas lots of us UK readers love the Stephen Fry version. What if you buy the audio book and don't like the way the person reads it? I just cannot afford to take risks like this at a higher cost for each book. I would need to know the narration is excellent before I even considered taking the plunge and it will be difficult for me to do this.

What do you guys think about the price of audio books? Did you like the Jim Dale narration? Do you buy or borrow audio books? Do you use Audible? What format do you use for audio books? What popular series have great or terrible narration?

18 comments:

  1. I think they can be cost prohibitive but even then, I just don't like them very much and have always felt like an oddball in this manner. I think it boils down to the fact that I love music so when I'm cleaning, driving or doing other things people who listen to audio books do, I've always got music on. I tried an audio short story once and ended up listening before bed and then I always ended up sleeping. My mind also wanders too much when they're playing. Great discussion topic.

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    1. I like my mp3 player to listen to my favourite songs while I do most tasks so I don't have much time to listen to audio books anyway. When we decorate the cd player goes on! I fall asleep quite nicely to my Harry Potter audio books because they relax me so much!

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  2. There is no way I could afford them for the most part but I don't think I would mess with them at all if they were not available digitally. There you CAN try a sample before you buy them.

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    1. Yeah the prices are a bit crazy. I'd like to have a few of my favourite books on audio...be nice to listen to them in my bed if I'm ill or something. But I'm just not sure which I would like so I can't risk it at those prices.

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  3. I haven’t listened to the HP books on audio, but I have considered getting some classics on audio. I want something to listen to while running on the treadmill. All the audio books I’ve looked at have been really expensive. Watching TV on the treadmill is cheaper.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. TV is certainly cheaper for a workout! More people would get audio books if they were cheaper and I don't see how those prices can really be justified. It's just another version of the book!

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  4. I've listened to a few audiobooks that were sent to me for review, and the narrator makes all the difference. The wrong narrator can destroy the best book, but a good narrator can actually salvage a bad book (to some extent).

    Prices vary widely (I cringe when the audiobook is more expensive than the hardcover), but I would never buy without either sampling or knowing the narrator.

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    1. I can imagine that a bad narrator could spoil things. I'd have to know in advance that he or she did a good job of the books before I bought. I think the price might put a lot of people off!

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  5. For me I don't really like the time factor- I can read faster than listen, but the main thing I get distracted as I invariably try to do something else while listening, and then pretty soon I have to go back because my attention wandered!

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    1. I'm a very fast reader...if I get into a book I can get most average sized books read in one night if I put my mind to it. I do get distracted sometimes even with the Harry Potter audio books as I feel I should be doing something else as well!

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  6. I would never be able to afford audiobooks if I were paying for them. I get most of mine through Overdrive, the Sync program, Audioboom & Tantor a few review submissions. I couldn't live without them now. They fill all of the "dead" spots in my day and I get more reading in.

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    1. I'm not actually sure where I'd fit them into my day to be honest. I blog all day while I watch the news, talk to my dad or listen to music if he's out for something. Then at night I read. I guess if I was able to get more, I'd find time for them somewhere. Thanks for the info about where you get them...it could be useful to some of us.

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  7. For me it's not about price since a lot of the books I want to read are only available in audio on Hoopla and Axis360 (my library) rather than ebooks. It's just that I'm so not an auditory learner and I cannot focus or absorb information that way, especially if I'm doing other things, because my mind will wander.

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    1. The mind wandering is something I get quite often even when I'm blogging! I think it's fine if the audio book is one you've read many times...you can maybe tune out or do other stuff while you listen but not handy when you are listening to it for the first time!

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  8. I love audiobooks. I do get some for review and from the library at no cost. I also look for deals on audible. I may spend a lot when they have a good sale but then I try not to buy for a while. I do have a gift membership so I do get credits as well. I listen while I am doing brainless things at work. It makes the day much more enjoyable. I do a lot of re-reads by audio and love that it is a different way to experience a much love story.

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    1. There are a few I'd like to get, depending on narrator to use at home if I'm sick or something. It's finding out which are the good books that is difficult!

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  9. I haven't really given audiobooks a try yet myself. I do know lots of indie audiobooks can be bought for only a few dollars when you already own the e-books, then they are a nice cost to get them.
    Else I agree with you that they are way too pricey. My main issue is that I don't have any travel time or something like that where I can see myself listening to audiobooks and I think for now I rather read than listen as I usually prefer reading above listening to things.
    But maybe I will give them a try once. I did listen to a few samples and I do think the narrator really matters, so I would always make sure I like the narrator before I buy an audiobook.

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    1. I would need to get the cd versions of any audio books rather than get it through my ereader, which would make it too expensive. Luckily I do like reading real books or ereaders too much to be that bothered by not having the audio versions!

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