I Don’t Think Audio Books are for Me

I keep trying to get in to audio books. Everyone seems to read so many more books than I do and it often feels like that is because they can listen to audio books, often on double speed, while doing chores or driving to work. And I just can’t do it.

Whenever I try to listen to an audio book I do well for about two minutes and then the next thing I know it’s a half an hour later and I haven’t heard any more of the story.  I’ve been washing the dishes or folding the laundry and the story continued on without me. I just can not focus on a story in this format and have to listen over and over to the same section to get anything out of the story at all.

My next strategy was to listen to an audio book while following along in a physical book at the same time and I stay focused and retain the story just fine that way, but it feels like an waste of resources to do both at once. And I don’t think I enjoy the experience any more than I would just reading it physically on my own. I really want to like books in all formats though. The thing that most bothers me with following along while listening is that words don’t match up perfectly. The narrator will change a word or skip or add a sentence, at least in the few I have tried, and it throws me off and makes me irrationally angry that things are changed. So I don’t think listening and following along is for me.

My audio book lovers,

How do you stay focused on an audio book and retain the story?

Is it a skill you can learn or am I just a visual learner who will never really benefit from this type of media?

What speed do you use when listening to audio books?

What is your favorite audio book?


18 thoughts on “I Don’t Think Audio Books are for Me

  1. Hi Lori.

    I used to use Audible a lot. Until I joined NetGalley. i set aside time during my day to listen to a book and also do every night before going to sleep.

    I use the iPad accessibility feature, VoiceOver to read out my books from Netgalley. Have you tried this? General>Accesibility> VoiceOver.. Slide the grey button to green.

    I open the Kindle app first, select the book I want then activate VoiceOver. I activate Speech before and use thw slider at the halfway point or just before. I find this is a natural speaking speed.

    So many! But anything written by Cathy Glass (Denica Fairman is a great narrator) and Bay of Secrets by Rosanna Ley. The Help by Kathryn Stockett is good.

    I cancelled my Audible account because of cost. A friend recommended Chirp Books as a lower cost alternative but it is not available where I am. I’m sticking with NetGalley and VoiceOver.

    Interesting about book and audio combined.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I usually get through 100-150 books a year. I set 50 for my Goodreads challenge one year but ended up getting through 100. I’m 86 books down so far this year.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is only my fourth year tracking my reading. My lowest of the three previous years was 63 and my highest was 135 so I don’t feel like I have enough data to know what my average or potential really is. I set my Goodreads goal to 100 this year though and I’ve finished 76 so far.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I admit this year I have been getting through them quicker because of quarantine: Wanted to at least keep my blogging and book routine going. I’ve planned that round writing challenges and editing my own work.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know who everyone is but you read more books than anyone I know, and I was married to a high school English teacher. (And that includes the whole English department at the school btw) I think you’re a bit hard on yourself. I see you often write that you don’t feel like you’re reading enough. It’s not a contest. You are amazing no matter how many books you read!
    (I agree, audio books suck. They put my husband and I both to sleep.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks haha I’m terrible at comparison. I am thinking about booktubers that read 200-300 books a year. Even if I stopped sleeping I don’t think I could read that many books a year any more. I am trying to figure out their secrets 😆 I want to be able to read all the books ever written and I sometimes have panic attacks thinking about not being able to do so. I really do enjoy my reading time. I am learning a lot and having fun, I just want to be able to consume even more stories 🙂

      I am so glad to hear I’m not the only one that doesn’t enjoy audiobooks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All the books ever written!?! Oh my goodness, surely that can not be possible, lol! Has someone claimed to have done this? My first thought is issues with translation, unless you learn every language! 😮

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definitely not possible. A quick Google says there are 130 million books published in all of modern history. And there are more published every day! My late husband used to tell me, that even if I could somehow read every book ever written, i wouldn’t want to, because there will be millions I don’t like and why would I want to suffer through that? He was right of course, but anxiety isn’t logical. Reading is my favorite thing, so I want to do as much of it as humanly possible and apparently sometimes I want to do so to impossible lengths haha

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I struggle with audiobooks too, though I enjoy listening to them. If you’re a re-reader, I find listening to a familiar story works better because it doesn’t matter if I miss bits. And there are some wonderful narrators out there these days. I do think it’s a different experience from reading though, so I never see it as a replacement.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love following along in the book while listening to the audiobook thats actually my favorite way to listen to audiobooks. I also will listen while I’m painting my nails or while I am coloring using the happy color app.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I started listening to audiobooks when I was commuting. It helps a lot to find good narrators to begin with as well as a book you’re really interested in. If you have any interest in ya books and haven’t read the Princess Diaries, Anne Hathaway narrates the first couple and they are fun listens. I get my audiobooks from my library online.

    Liked by 1 person

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