Although I have a 40 minute commute into work each day (which is bound to extend to an hour with January fast approaching), I actually find the time flies because I’m usually in the midst of ‘reading’ an audiobook. It’s actually quite scary sometimes because I can get so caught up in the story, that I don’t even know how I ended up home! With that said, audiobooks, whether it be in CD, playaway or electronic format are a great way to take your reading on the road.
5 tips for choosing a great audiobook:
- In many cases, people listen to audiobooks while they’re doing something else – it could be running on the treadmill, doing housework, or driving in the car. And regardless of what you may think, humans aren’t good multitaskers. So choose something that isn’t overly difficult to follow. Meaning, save To The Lighthouse or The Sound and The Fury for your undivided attention!
- Keep in mind that the narrator could either make or break the enjoyment of the book for you. A poor narrator can make an interesting book seem dull and boring; on the flipside, an over zealous reader can distract you from the meat of the plot. Perhaps try listening to a preview of the audiobook online (available through many publishers websites) – although the best thing about the library is that it doesn’t cost you anything to try them out! If you’re disappointed by the audiobook version, perhaps pick up the print or ebook version as you may enjoy the story without that added dimension.
- To find just the audiobooks in the GPL collection, search the catalogue limiting to “nonmusical sound recording” – you’ll be amazed at what we have available both fiction and nonfiction.
- Audiobooks often come in two different versions: abridged (the original version has been altered so that it runs a shorter length of time) and unabridged (the exact version that you would find in print). So if you’re browsing the audiobook shelves at GPL, pay attention to whether or not it’s abridged or unabridged. And if you are interested in Fall of Giants, you may want the abridged version to save changing in and out 24 discs!
- As with selecting any new book to read, it can be a daunting task to find something that interests you. Try checking out the NoveList Plus database (all you need is a library card to access). You can browse bestselling titles, check out reviews, search for author read-a-likes, find recommended reading lists and more. It will link you directly to the GPL catalogue where you can put a hold on the audiobook version of your choice!
Currently in my car CD player is Jennifer Weiner’s Fly Away Home – a story about a family falling apart after the politician husband is caught cheating with a younger woman. Each chapter is told from the perspective of the three women: Sylvie, the 57-year old wife/mother struggling to find herself again; Diana, the eldest daughter, an ER physician and married mother of one who finds herself in a heated affair of her own; and Lizzie, the younger daughter, recovering from addiction and dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. I have read many of Weiner’s works in the past and every time I enjoy them because they are real-life stories with characters that you can’t help but identify with and care about. She writes with subtle grace and emotional depth; in other words, chick lit with substance! The narrator for the audiobook version is Judith Light (for those who are unfamiliar she played Angela on the hit 90’s TV show Who’s the Boss?) and she is a wonderful storyteller. To listen to an excerpt, visit the book’s website.
So, what’s your favourite audiobook?