The Sunday Symposium is a weekly feature in which I'll be discussing various bookish topics and asking for your commentary, as well. This week, I'm discussing my affinity for audiobooks because it's been a topic of conversation among my group of bloggy friends lately, mostly because they're either afraid to try them or they have a penchant for collecting them.
Besides helping me catch up on books I'd otherwise never get to, there's the nostalgic factor to consider. Remember how much you loved having your parents read you a story at bedtime? All the funny voices and such? I didn't have this fortune often as a kid, as my parents aren't really big readers (gasp!), but I was enthralled whenever I did. Because of that, I make sure to read to my daughter every single night. And since we read a lot of princess stories, I get to use my English accent and ferry her away to a fantasy world she's not yet old enough to read about herself.
My point is, that joy I felt as a kid, hearing the story and envisioning it myself as I listened to Mom or Dad, that's the same feeling I get when I'm transported to another world by an audiobook. Maybe not always on the same level, but it's close. Hell, I've listened to some series entirely on audio, and I never felt like I was missing anything because I wasn't reading the print version. Because I don't read to myself with an accent or with the measure of urgency or dismay called for by the written words. But the narrators of these audiobooks do. They bring the story to life in a way that I wouldn't. I read so many books so quickly now that half the time I'm skimming, which means I'm missing things. And I hate missing things.
My younger sister has never been much of a reader, unless it was some kind of informational text or self-help book. But last year, prior to the movie's release, I got her to read the entire Hunger Games trilogy, and she loved it. After that, I recommended some other novels to her, both in written and in audio forms, with little success. Failures included The City of Bones (written) and Divergent (audio). However, she is currently reading The Host in preparation for our trip to the theater, but I was also able to convince her to try out the Delirium audiobook when she found out I was reading the final book in that series and that it was also a dystopian, which seems to be a favorite sub-genre of hers. Two or three days later, she wanted the next book in the series, which I happily downloaded for her. And now she's chomping at the bit for Requiem to release on Tuesday. So, while she waits, she's already listened to Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and she's in the middle of The Fault in Our Stars, both of which she seems to have been enjoying, despite a few minor dislikes, but we all have those, right?
But this is what matters: I turned my non-reading sister into not only a [good] book lover but also an audiophile! All in the span of a year! And after she finishes the audio for Requiem, she's even going to do a guest post about the experience for me. I am over the moon about this! And that's kind of my goal with this post...to show you that audiobooks aren't the evil that some people seem to think they are. ;0)
So, I want to know about your experience with audiobooks:
- What are your thoughts in general on audiobooks?
- Have you ever tried audiobooks? Did you enjoy that experience? If you didn't, was it the book or the narrator? Would you be willing to try again with a different book and/or narrator?
- For my friends who enjoy a good audiobook as much as I do, do you have a favorite audiobook, one that you might go back to for a re-listen every now and again? How about a favorite narrator?
- How do you use audiobooks? To make mundane tasks (driving, exercising, ironing) less so? To refresh your memory before a sequel? Just for the sheer pleasure of them?
- I like to review the audiobooks I listen to, even if they weren't provided by the publisher. I know what I need to see in an audiobook review, but what would you like to see in my reviews? What might persuade you to pick up the audiobook as opposed to a written copy?
- How do you acquire your audiobooks: library, Audible, purchased CDs, etc.?
I really hope I'm surprised by the responses to this post and that more of my friends are audio fanatics than I would've guessed. Either way, I love you all and value your opinion, even if I may not agree with it. :P
And just for your time and effort, I have a giveaway for you: an audiobook of choice from Audible.com, up to a $30 value.