Monday, June 25, 2012

Audiobook Week: My Year in Audiobooks

This week marks Audiobook Week 2012, hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books. During this week, those of us who are participating will feature audiobook reviews and daily discussions on our blogs. I'm planning to do both: offer up a review each day this week as well as participate in the discussions. If you're an audiobook fan, maybe you'll find a new favorite. If you're new, maybe this might pique your interest. 

Today's discussion prompt: Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience.

I've been listening to audiobooks since 2007, which is when we moved and my work commute increased to nearly 2 hours each way.  (Yes, you read that correctly ... each way!) Even after I got a job working primarily from home (a welcome change!) I still listened to audiobooks, although not as often. With the job I was just let go from, there was a lot of driving involved (it wasn't unusual to be in the car for 6 hours a day, driving to various appointments) and once again, audiobooks were my best friend. 

Audiobooks have been a presence in my life for 5 years now. Driving is my main place to listen, and I usually just rely on the selection on CDs from the library. I recently upgraded my Blackberry to a Droid smartphone, so that might expand how I listen, especially now that our library just got e-books and e-audiobooks. I haven't tried listening while gardening, although maybe I should. I might get more done that way. (I admit, I kind of like the gardening quiet, though.)  

Two things that I do while listening to audiobooks that may be different from others: 

1. I generally always have a print copy of the book to follow along with. I don't mean that I actually read along in the print version simultaneously, as one would if you were just learning how to read. (That would be a little difficult to do while driving.) I mean that I like to have a print copy nearby, to use as a reference for characters' names or poignant scenes or quotes I want to remember. I find this is immensely helpful when writing my review. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment, as I like to equate how much I've listened to with the number of pages read. 

2. I've been trying to select books that are currently on my bookshelves as audiobooks. That way, I'm able to make a dent in the ol' TBR (to be read) pile - and, because of #1 above, I don't have to check out both the audiobook AND the print version from the library. (I have made exceptions for a book I really want to read, most recently The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.) 

Finally, here are some of my favorite audiobooks that I've listened to in the past year:

Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden 

Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt 

The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger 

The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary Pearson 

The Maytrees, by Annie Dillard 

The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd 

I'm going to try and have some reviews of these up on the blog this week. (Don't hold me to that, though, as most of these are unwritten yet.) In the meantime, see what other bloggers have to say (and what their favorite audiobooks of the past year are) by visiting the link at Devourer of Books.

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Kristin said...

Now that I know how to get audios onto my iPod, I find myself listening while at the gym and even while gardening. I also listen while in the car, but I use CD's there, so occasionally I bring those inside to listen to while cleaning or cooking.

Kristin @ Always With a Book

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I thought I was weird for wanting a copy of the book itself to read along with the audio!! Yay me!! I'm not so weird after all!!! :)

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

I do try to listen to books that are in my TBR to make a dent, but I admit I haven't really ever made a point of having a print copy available to follow along.

Nise' said...

I often have the book in print too!

Tanya Patrice said...

Great idea to get the print book too - it definitely helps with names. I always intend to do it, but for some strange reason I forget - which is crazy because I get most of my books (print and audio) from the library!

Tanya Patrice

Laurie C said...

That is a GREAT idea to have the print book handy for reference and Post-It notes, etc. while you're listening to the audiobook! I always end up Googling to check spellings of names, etc. before reviewing, and often end up not reviewing the audiobook at all because I don't have a concrete reminder of it sitting there.

JoAnn said...

I almost always get a print copy of my current audiobook from the library - both for reference and for 'total immersion'. I've been listening in the car and reading at home lately. It's quite an experience.

Anonymous said...

I have been meaning to read Memoirs of a Geisha forever - I should check and see if the library has it on audio.

Juju at Tales of said...

Having a print copy nearby sounds ideal. Do you buy them or get them from the library?