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The Lounge
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Has anyone ever purchased an audiobook?  I'm thinking of downloading one for my ipod but I'm still a little apprehensive.  I've never "listened" to a book before.  I love to read but I'm the kind of person that needs everything to be completely silent when I do so.  When I'm on break at work I can't read because it's just too noisy. 

Anyways, has anyone bought an audiobook?  If so, do you get over the narrators voices?  I've been listening to previews on itunes and some of the narrators have bizzare voices. 

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I downloaded the newest David Sedaris book. He narrated his own book so it was nice to hear the author reading his own book... but I didn't enjoy it like I did reading the book but it wasn't bad. I couldn't concentrate though. 

I've been listening to audiobooks for a few years now.  I've always been a voracious reader and never thought I would enjoy them.  The conclusion that I've come to is that some books are way better read and others are better listened to.  Try one and if you like it check out  It's like a bookclub for audiobooks.  I'm still on the original plan where I get two books each month for something like $20.  It's been a good deal for me since some of the books on cds are over $50 at Barnes and Noble.

Hey, you know a lot of libraries have audiobooks too!

And a little known secret is that audiobooks get a lot less circulation than regular books do - which means if your library has a decent selection, you're more likely to get the title you want, even when there's a wait list for it in print.

I know a lot of people who listen to books while driving in their car.  Especially if they do a lot of driving, it can make life easier than finding new radio stations in remote areas.

The person reading the book makes a big difference as to whether I'll enjoy listening to it.  Sometimes I think they're reading it 'wrong' (like emphasizing the wrong words in a sentence or using a stupid tone) and so I'll just quit listening and decide to read that one myself.  I know I like my internal voice.  Smile  I also agree with Ali - it is nice to hear the author read their book when they go that route.

Happy listening!

I downloaded Auditobooks from iTunes, yes. The ones I downloaded (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) was more of a radio play than a single narrator and, for the record, rocked my boxers. Seriously, they were well done.

Never bought one with just a single narrator speaking, though...

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If you like Harry Potter, i strongly recommend audiobooks read by Jim Dale (there are also other readers). and Terry Pratchett read by Nigel Planer.

Recently I've been listening to "Cadfael" series (not sure if you know it - by British author Ellis Peters, the hero is an English/Welsh benedictine monk, former crusader, who solves crime mysteries in 12th century England. Marvellous! Smile)

Also any novel by Agatha Christie, dramatized or read "word by word" is definitely worth listening to.

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I agree with shevandell .... I was initiated into the wonderful world of audiobooks by listening to the Harry Potter books with my daughter and I must say that Jim Dale is AWESOME!!!  He created distinct voices for each character which is not that common in audiobooks.  We once checked out the CD of "Inkspell" which was narrated by Brenden Fraser (the dude from the Mummy movies)and he was truly terrible.  Aside from that one, we've had only good experiences.

I only purchase audiobooks that I know I truly love and will enjoy more than once like HP :-)   Other than that, I agree with nomo's advice to use your public library.  I'm not sure about your library system but mine has a program where you can download audiobook files from the internet straight to your computer.  After the loan period has passed, access to the computer file is denied.  It has saved me on many boring work days!
Original Post by shevandell:

If you like Harry Potter, i strongly recommend audiobooks read by Jim Dale (there are also other readers).

 I really liked the Harry Potter ones read by Jim Dale as well.

to OP:  Like Nomo said, the person reading the book makes all the difference.  I've come across some ho-hum ones, but some that made a stellar choice for the narrator.  I particularly liked the Clancy ones I got which used David Ogden Steirs.

And I have found them to be quite convenient - I seem to have a lot more "free time" in my car than I do at home, and it really helps pass the time if traffic's bad.  However, sometimes I am just in the mood to sit and hold an actual book (at home, not in traffic Wink).

I have an account as well - I love it.  The best I have listened to is the Golden Compass series.  It was done as a BBC production where different narrators read for the different characters.  Lovely!

I think for some books, listening makes it more enjoyable.  I also really liked listening to "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis, "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant, Harry Potter (the Jim Dale narration), and A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin.

I used to just get the books from the library, but they are only in cassette tape or CD versions, which was great 10 years ago, but with MP3 technology, I much prefer the option.

If you are considering an account - note that there are loads of coupon codes out there to get a free download.

I like to listen to audiobooks while I'm exercising, and DH plays them at night when we go to bed because neither of us likes going to sleep in silence. You don't have to shell out good money for them unless there's something you REALLY want - check out the local library because nowadays they get their audiobooks on CD instead of cassette tape. You can borrow a book and then take it back when you're finished with it and get another one, and if you turn out not to enjoy one it's not a big loss. I've only actually bought about two audiobooks...

I find that audiobooks make my looonnnggg commute feel shorter, or if I find one I really like, I only let myself listen to it while working out. That makes me work out just a little longer so I can find out what happens next.

Check with your local library. Mine has audiobooks on CD that you can check out, or I can download them from the library's web site to my MP3 player. The service my library uses for the digital downloads is called Overdrive Digital Reserve. The downloads are "checked out" for a week, after which they can't be played anymore. Audiobooks tend to be expensive so this might let you try them without a big outlay of money.


The only audiobook I've ever listened to was John Stewart's "America" read by John Stewart and company. It was absolutely hysterical and was better than sitting down and reading the book, which I was surprised about.

It was like listening to a comedy special, which was fantastic.

That's the only suggestion I have. Sorry!!!

11 Replies