How Audiobooks Made Me Appreciate Non-Fiction by Yaika Sabat

This is a good article to introduce you to a new format, or rather an old format that you might not have considered before.  This author has trouble reading non-fiction books.  Not that she lacks the desire, interest, or intellectual capacity, they just tend to be a bit dry and hard to get through.  I find myself with the same problem.  Like this author, I tend to look more toward the fiction books, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.

This author emphasized that the reader (voice actor/actress) can make a difference in your reading experience, just because you dislike one voice actor doesn’t mean that the entire genre is bad.  I know that the voice actress that helped create the early Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich was not to my taste. Eventually then switched voice actors and now I really love listening to the new installment in this series.

If you are having trouble getting through non-fiction, detective novels, epic fantasy, science fiction, or another genre then try listening to Audio books.  (maybe not romance unless you can take hearing graphic sex explored…found that out the hard way, fortunately there was  ‘skip ahead 30 seconds’ button….hit that 4-10 times and you’re usually past the graphic bits. )

In recent months I have found that Audible has access to the Great Courses.  I love the idea of listening for 20+ hours at the same price of a 7+ hour book.  (I’m a bargain hunter at the root of it which is why I like libraries *free* best of all).  Now that the author of this article informed me that The Devil in the White City is about H.H Holmes and the Chicago World Fair I have that waiting for me….just as soon as I figure out where Overdrive downloaded it to on my iPad.

Happy Reading!


Random Audio Additions

In Addition to reading the article “Is Audio Really the Future of the Book”

I have been listening to a great number of Audio Books.  Due to a family health problem I have not had a lot of free time or attention to do much extracurricular library research, though I have been able to get through an inordinate amount of audio books.  Many of them were ‘re-reads’ but some were new.

Among the re-reads are:

Origin in Death; Conspiracy in Death; Indulgence in Death; Promises in Death; Salvation in Death; Betrayal in Death; Judgement in Death; Loyalty In Death; Witness in Death; and Brotherhood in Death by J.D Robb. As well as Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich.

The New Audio Books that I have read are:

Apprentice in Death by J. D. Robb and Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich.

These 13 Audio books have certainly pushed forward my goal for the Year, though I will still probably not make it.

I also re-read several Shelly Laurenston Books, namely:

The Mane Squeeze; Beast Behaving Badly; Wolf With Benefits; Bear Meets Girl; Big Bad Beast; Mane Attraction; Mane Event; Bite Me; and The Beast in Him.

I guess I was more prolific than I though by reading 9 books to escape what reality I could not change.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading all that I could.  I will hope to continue reading even prolifically for the next few weeks until the years end.

Smartphone Gives New Life to Audiobooks

People are discovering the ability to listen to an audio book while they are doing other things, ie. multi-tasking.

“Between 2012 and 2015, sales of downloaded audio increased nearly 85%, according to the Association of American Publishers”

* the root of this issue is that CD audio books are very expensive and CD players never were very portable.  This allows downloaded audio books to begin to encroach on the market.  People love the illusion that they are multi-tasking, truthfully if you are doing something else odds are you are not concentrating on the audio book you are attempting to listen to.  I digress, since people like to think that they are getting more than one thing done the audio books become a good way to absorb a book and accomplish a task at the same time.  With cell-phones having more memory and being very portable they become  a natural medium for this sort of absorption.*

Print or Digital…

There are arguements that whether digital or physical reading is on the decline.  One of the first arguments mentions that reading is a more active task than listening to the radio or watching TV.  There is some argument that the publishers are not making digital media easy to access  or more affordable so people are still leaning toward print media.  *I can agree with that to an extent but then I just had to tell a patron that the novella published in their series is only available in digital, he asked when it would be in the library and I had to tell him we would probably never have access to it*.

The author states that one of the most alarming aspects to the trend of fewer people reading is that all other forms of media consumption have had dramatic increases.

In a 2012 survey report titled The Rise of Digital Reading, Pew researchers concluded that “those who have taken the plunge into reading e-books stand out in almost every way” from other kinds of readers.

“Foremost, they are relatively avid readers of books in all formats: 88% of those who read e-books in the past 12 months also read printed books.” the report noted. “Compared with other book readers, they read more books. They read more frequently for a host of reasons: for pleasure, for research, for current events, and for work and school. They are also more likely than others to have bought their most recent book, rather than borrowed it, and they are more likely than others to say they prefer to purchase books in general.”

I find this quote to be one of the most telling.  I know from my personal experiences that I am more likely to buy an e-book simply due to availability, however in order to hook me into spending more of my hard earned money it had better be a darned good book.  There are only a few authors whose books I buy without reservations, and most are mystery authors for my mother.

Readers “want books to be available wherever they are,” Rainie told the Times. “They’ll read an e-book on a crowded bus, curl up with a printed book when they feel like that, and go to bed with a tablet.” That certainly sounds like an opportunity to grow readership, and to reach new readers.

I find this to be the most accurate statement, as well as something that people have a very hard time grasping.  Personally the only reason I read more ebooks and audio books recently is because I can listen to an audio book in the car on the way to work and I can read an e-book anywhere when I get a few free moments.  If I want to get caught up in the life of an alien captive I can pick up “Freedom’s Landing” by Anne McCaffery, if I want to read about Spinning yarn I can pick up “The Complete Practical Spinner’s Guide to Rare Luxury Fibers”, or if I want to read Women’s Day I can pick that up also without lugging around a bunch of books!  It is all on my tablet in addition to my schedule and audio books.

Why Audio is Better than Print

Why Audio Is Better Than Print

While I might not agree with the title in its entirety, there is some truth to it.  People get so judgemental when you read a book in a format other than their preferred method.  If you read a digital book  you hear, “I really enjoy the tactile experience; How can you learn anything on a screen; etc.”  If you listen to audiobooks you hear, “It isn’t really reading; It’s cheating; multi-tasking doesn’t really exist; etc.”  Even if you read a paperback you hear, “I like something substantial in my hands; It isn’t really reading you know?, etc.”  I have even heard people decrying hardcover books, “It’s too heavy; I like something I can take with me; etc.”

This article makes some good points, but the main premise that I came away with is to stop judging people based on the format of the material that they read.  (I try to not judge anyway, format, content, or anything).  Boiling down to the main points: Audio books are reading, they are not cheating, and some people don’t have a choice so to call them anything but reading is derogatory to the differently-abled.  Happy Reading!

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor, Cecil Baldwin

This was absolutely fabulous. If you have ever listened to Welcome to Night Vale, then you need to listen to this audio book, don’t read it! I have no idea how you would even consider reading this book instead of listening to it. The utter weird that comprises this book can only be truly experienced by listening to someone crooning the gruesome descriptions of the librarians in your ears as you drive down the road. If you are a librarian that tends to be sensitive about your profession, of weak constitution, or just not able to deal with the insanely weird, then do not bother reading or listening to this book…or probably any book I review…This is not a book for the weak or faint of heart.

If however you listen to Welcome to Night Vale and enjoy it, think of this as a 12+ hour episode of Welcome to Night Vale. It arguably has more plot-line than a lot of the episodes, but enough weird to make up for it. If you like weird and audio books then I really recommend you subscribe to the podcast of Welcome to Night Vale, it really is good. (I am not sponsored by Night Vale or any of its subsidiaries and purchased this audiobook with my own funds.)

Goodnight Night Vale, Goodnight.