Thursday, November 29, 2012
The Trouble with Audio Books
There were two articles in the NYT this past Sunday about audio books. I am a great fan of good audiobooks but I rarely find one that fits my needs. Virtually all people reading a traditional book are sitting in a chair, their full attention on the text in front of them.But...
People listening to audio books are 1) driving in the car 2) running 3) doing household chores as they listen 4) sitting in chair, their full attention on the voice next to them.
1-3 need a certain sort of book, and even more than that, a certain type of voice. I fall into the #3 category and like to listen to an audiobook while I cook, clean, etc. I never sit in a chair and listen to one. If I am sitting, I read a regular or Kindle book.
So because I am running water or moving as I listen, I need a reader that is a very clear speaker. Women don't usually work well. Nor do people with accents. So it is usually American books I listen to.
My favorite reader is Will Patton, who reads the James Lee Burke novels. The guy who read Plainsong was also terrific.But only about 1 in 5 audiobook works for me.
Do you listen to audiobooks? Do you see an advantage in having the actual writer read it? I would have thought I did until I heard Junot Diaz read his book of stories. His voice was so smart alecky I was even less inclined to finish the book.
Who is your favorite audiobook reader and what audiobook did you thing worked the best? I am looking for suggestions.