Friday, August 8, 2014

Playing It By Ear

I've never been able to listen to audiobooks. I've tried them a few times, but my tendency to mentally meander has always been a handicap. I do it while I'm reading regular books, too, but turning back a page or two is a lot easier than rewinding, especially since when I last tried, they didn't have that handy little "skip back 30 seconds" button the apps have now. 

But I'm running a lot now, and for a lot longer—I'm talking an hour + on the weekends. I love my music, but it only carries me so far.  And as a fervent multi-tasker, I'm always happiest when I can do something while doing something else. 

So I gave it another shot, and I am absolutely shocked to discover that I love it. Using Audible's free trial, I downloaded Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes. I've listened to it several times this week—during my runs, including the six-miler last Sunday—and while crocheting. 
It's perfect for both. I still can't listen while cleaning or driving, but I gotta tell you, I'm so into it, it's tempting. 

That being said, there are still a few things that bug me about audiobooks:

1. You have to be able to turn off. No sneaking a few pages on your phone's Kindle app while in line at the grocery store—audiobooks require a chunk of uninterrupted, dedicated time. Which is really hard when you're dying to get back to the book and see what happens next!

2. They are so. Effing. Long. I'm not quite officially a speed-reader, but I'm damn close. I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the first time in about 5 1/2-6 hours. I'm in the middle of my annual reread (yes, I'm a dork) and I was thinking about getting the audiobooks for next year's, so I could experience them in a different way. You want to know how long the HPatDH audiobook is? 21 hours. I could read the book four times over in that length. 

3. And they are so. Effing. Expensive. The aforementioned HPatDH retails for $45. From my meager research, this is not at all uncommon. Most audiobooks are $35 and up. That's where the Audible membership comes in handy; $15/month and you get one book of your choice each month; $22 gets you two (though, seriously, who has that kind of time?). Sadly, Harry Potter isn't available on Audible. Looks like I'll be hitting up eBay for those. 

Other than my few gripes, though, I'm totally into it, and glad I tried again. If at first you don't succeed...

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