I love the idea of audiobooks. I like the thought of being able to squeeze in extra books, to have a book read to me at a time when I couldn't otherwise be reading. (Example: audiobooks are basically the only way I'd ever be able to read and knit at the same time.) So a few months ago, I signed up for Hoopla, a free service through my local library that allows you to digitally "borrow" audiobooks, music, movies, etc. I was really excited about trying it!
The first audiobook that I attempted (ha...you can probably see where this is going) was Counting by 7s. I've been interested in reading that book for a long time. I liked the story, but I didn't like the narrator. The story is told by a 12 year old, and the adult narrator, trying to sound younger, just came across as whiney. I got maybe an hour or two in before I gave up on that one.
The next one I tried was The Graveyard Book. Again, another book I've wanted to read for years. It's a full cast production, which is okay, though I think I would have preferred if it was narrated by Neil Gaiman (I've heard good things about his audiobooks). The story is okay, the narration is okay...but again, I'm struggling to finish it. I started listening to it over two months ago and I'm still not quite halfway through!
What's the deal? Why can't I listen to audiobooks? Am I just choosing the wrong sorts of books to listen to...would nonfiction be a better choice? I think that my setup is one problem. I'm old-fashioned and don't have a smartphone, tablet, etc. So when I'm listening through Hoopla, I have to be sitting at my computer with my headphones, and that feels restrictive. When I'm knitting at the computer, I seem to always choose podcasts (Woolful in particular) or bookish YouTube videos over listening to the audiobook. But even if I didn't have to be at the computer, I'm not sure that I would be more likely to listen to an audiobook. I know that a lot of people listen to them while they're driving, cleaning, etc. But those are times when I'm always listening to music (even when I'm making soap, ha!), and I love doing that and don't really want to stop.
So while I'm not going to give up yet, maybe I'm just not meant to be an audiobook fan. When it comes down to it, I'd rather check out a physical copy of The Graveyard Book from the library and spend an hour or two reading the second half of it, than sit at my computer for another four hours listening to it.
How about you? Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? When do you listen to them and what kind of audiobooks do you prefer?