Why Audiobooks Will Be a Thing for Me in 2018


Audiobooks. Such a new and foreign aspect for a conventional reader such as me. Though audiobooks have existed for years and years, as a person who has always bought her books and doesn’t have a local library with an audiobook collection, the thought of reading audiobooks had never crossed my mind.

Until last year when I saw a promotion for Amazon’s Audible that lets you pay only $5 instead of $15 for the first three months of our subscription. I only had until the end of the week to get that promo. After days of research and consideration, I signed up.

I stumbled upon this article in Literary Hub not too long ago, discussing whether audiobooks do count as reading. Of course this has been a huge source of discussion in the book community. Loads of other blogs have written about this dilemma. In the article, James Tate Hill told us how he suffered with a reading disability: he had disrupted vision and was even registered as legally blind. He found solace in audiobooks, starting out in a local library for the blind, picking up books (in the form of cassettes) that were made into movies he had enjoyed.

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What I know for sure is this: Sooner or later, the voice in my ears ceases to be a voice. It becomes the words, the words become sentences, and the sentences become the story. At some point, the voice in my ears merges with my own voice the way the words on a page once became my own inner voice when I still read print.

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Ultimately, the article was more about his thoughts on reading as a person who basically could only read in the conventional way other people read, when accompanied with a magnifying glass, and how he even did an English major because of his life of reading. But did all the books he listened to count as books he had read? Throughout his life he had been struggling with how people judged him for that. The author even bought paperbacks of books he’d “read”, just to showcase in a bookshelf in his house that he, as an English major, had read these books.

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Alone in my bedroom when I was 16, popping tape after tape into my talking book player, it didnโ€™t matter if I was reading or listening. The book titles on the side of the green cartons were the same as the copies found on the shelves of bookstores and regular libraries. They were the same authors. The words in my ears were the same words other people saw when they held a book in their hands.

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For me, audiobooks are definitely books. For my first credit in Audible, after more research, I chose Aziz Ansari‘s Modern Romance. As a huge lover of Parks and Recreation (though I actually didn’t really like Aziz’s character Tom Haverford in the show), and recently watching Master of None and loving it, I had heard that Modern Romance was a great audiobook for beginners.

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A nonfiction book written by Ansari and a psychologist Eric Klinenberg, this is a study on romance in the world filled with technology: comparing how people found their soulmates decades ago with how dating is like in the modern days. Subjects ranging from texting, dating apps, divorce rate, romance in other cultures, and monogamy were discussed in a concise, statistical way but added with Ansari’s personal flair. Here and there I would chuckle at his comments and ways he would change his accent, and I was already intrigued when I read the sample audio of the book with him mocking us as lazy people who was too lazy to read their own books.

Though the subject was far from anything I would really pick up randomly in the bookstore, the author and narrator’s unique take on reading the book out loud for us was really what made me enjoy this book a lot. At first, 5 hours of listening to Aziz Ansari talk seemed like a huge thing that I probably won’t be able to handle. However once I got into the rhythm of the audio, I began to find moments where I can continue listening to him: on train rides, while I’m cooking, before I go to sleep.

All in all, I gave the book a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a well written book that is informative and also humorous. I did not regret reading this in the form of audiobook. It adds more character and more value of enjoyment into my reading experience. I absolutely cannot wait to explore more audiobooks every month. Though my vision is not impaired like Mr Hill’s, I still completely think reading an audiobook is valid, and does count as reading. I have never and will never judge anyone who prefers listening to a book rather than reading it with their eyes. It’s a whole another world to explore! (Full review of my deeper thoughts on the book itself can be found in my Goodreads here)

PS: I realize that when I post this review a lot of you guys are probably already aware of the controversy surrounding Aziz Ansari. However I wish to not discuss about him and the rumours in his personal life. Though it is related to his work, this review is based solely on the book, my reading experience, and not at all about Aziz Ansari the famous actor and whatever he has done in the past.

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Any thoughts on audiobooks? Any recommendations? Drop them by in the comments down below! Until next Sunday for another post at Ayundabhuwana’s Blog!

 

13 thoughts on “Why Audiobooks Will Be a Thing for Me in 2018

  1. I agree that of course listening to audiobooks counts as reading! You still experience the story and imagine the characters and their actions when you’re listening. Personally though I can’t seem to get on with audiobooks! I can never stop my mind from drifting to thinking about other things :/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post ๐Ÿ™‚ I definitely agree that audiobooks count as reading, and I get through a lot of them. I sometimes find that I’ve not got into reading a print/kindle book but then I listen to the audio and it really makes me get into the story. Hope you continue to enjoy your audio books ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I’ve only listened to one audio book (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda) and really enjoyed the experience. I discovered a new way to consume a book (yes, I agree that any way you can consume a book is valid), but have been finding a hard time justifying the time. Since I’m planning to already read less this year, it might be a good time to pick up another audio. Do you have plans for your next audio book?

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    1. I’ve always wanted to read that book! Audiobooks are same as normal books, you can totally adjust your speed of reading and decide if you want to finish it more quickly or not ๐Ÿ™‚
      Right now I’m currently listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and it’s such fun! I’ve forgotten the last time I actually read the first Harry Potter book but I’m sure it’s been at least 5 years, so I love picking up on small details I’ve forgotten and experiencing the story through audiobook.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I love audiobooks! I joined Audible a coupe of years ago, and now I’m hooked on listening to books during my commute and when I walk. Not all books work for me as audiobooks, and the quality of the narration definitely matters. I’ve loved books narrated by the author (like Neil Gaiman), and I’ve also really enjoyed getting through some mysteries that I might not have picked up otherwise. The other thing I really like audiobooks for is re-reading — getting to revisit a book I’ve loved in a whole new way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I’m currently rereading a Harry Potter audiobook as well, it’s a wonderful way to revisit a book you’ve loved โค Neil Gaiman's name often comes up when talking about audiobooks, I've only read 2 of his books so I'll definitely check out his works in audio format then ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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