5 Reasons You Should Listen To Audiobooks

I am a huge fan of audiobooks. What could be better than absorbing an epic story and not having to do the eyeball work of reading it yourself? So much brilliance. So much win. Today I’ve compiled a list of reasons why you should definitely considering filling your life with audiobooks. Or filling your ears with audiobooks, I should say.

 

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS.

  1. They’ve very helpful for multitasking! Are you doing a mindless task like cleaning or driving or exercising? Listen to an audiobook! It not only makes the task 100% more epic (like who doesn’t want to listen to an action adventure while you’re jogging around the block?!), it also helps keep on top of that endless TBR pile you know is stalking you in your sleep. Plus fare thee well boredom. You now have audios to keep your brain busy.
  2. They’re helpful if you read fast and miss things. I am totally guilty of being a speed-reader and, well, sometimes I read too fast and miss things. Audiobooks help me slow down and enjoy all the words and the story in full! I’ll appreciate the description and details more if I listen to an audiobook.
  3. You can learn complicated pronunciations. This is particularly helpful if you love epic fantasy which is notorious for slapping a keyboard and coming up with a character name. I mean, why call someone Joe when they could be Jo’ylufgy Son Of Yu’lynnnui. (I know that’s totally how fantasy authors name their characters, of course.)
  4. It’s a little bit like watching a movie! Because a lot of narrators, particularly good ones, use different voices for characters. They have different accents and inflections and don’t underestimate how easily that makes a book come alive in a whole new way. I also love dramatised audiobooks (although they’re not that common) where they’ll be sound affects and music playing in the background during some scenes.
  5. If you’re too tired to read, NEVER FEAR! You can listen to an audiobook! You can rest those weary little eyeballs and still get some reading done, particularly at night. Just don’t lie down to listen to your book and fall asleep. Not that I’d ever do that of course. Ha ha how could you think that?

 

Excellent AudioBook Recommendations:

I must, of course, also give you some recommendations on what audiobooks to start with! There are so many and not all audiobooks are made equal. Unfortunately an irritating narrator can totally ruin a book for you. So take note of your preferences as you listen and don’t forget to listen to samples before you buy so you know if the narrator is going to suit you.

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  • The Name Of The Wind [buy here] — I particularly adored this one by Brilliance Audio because the narrator used several difference accents throughout the book and it made it easy to tell characters apart.
  • Illuminae [buy here] — this is one of my favourite audiobooks ever because it’s dramatised! There are sound affects and music playing and it’s basically a movie in your head.
  • Steelheart [buy here] — Again, the narrator made this absolutely perfect by capturing the protagonist’s personality in voice inflections. I listened to the whole trilogy via audio and it was the best experience!

The Wisdom of Crowds

The inimitable Cory Doctorow‘s latest project, With a Little Help, is a self-conscious attempt at creating a book that not only bends the traditional rules of publishing and distribution, but of editing, marketing, sales and just about every other aspect of book publishing you can think of. Like a few of Doctorow’s other books, With a Little Help will be available as an ebook in various formats from his website for free (you can download it for free or buy a paper copy here). What’s different about this one, though, is that it is the author’s first foray into self-publishing. There’ll be a low-price print-on-demand paperback version, a special high-price limited edition hard cover, an electronic audio edition for free, and a low-price CD audio edition.

There are a lot of very interesting things to be learned from this project, and I could go on about it for hours, but what I’d like to concentrate on right now is one of the ways Doctorow was able to put the project together, which is laid out in the title of the collection: with a little help. But he didn’t just get help from his friends – he opened up donations in time, money and expertise to the open web in a way that is usually described as crowdsourcing.

Just a few examples: he offered one reader or group of readers the opportunity to commission one particular story for the collection (for the princely sum of $10,000), fans from other languages or who use unusual ereaders can translate or convert his books and have them posted up alongside the official versions, he crowdsourced proofreading (giving typo-spotters a shout out in the endnotes of the book), web design, cover design (there are multiple covers) and even book packaging (he’s using discarded burlap coffee sacks to cushion the high-end hardcovers en route!).

What I love about this project is the sheer audacity of it. There are so many moving parts, so many different levers and buttons that Doctorow decided to press for the hell of it along the way that will make it a very interesting prospect to track as it makes its way into the marketplace. The crowdsourcing aspect means that all of his readers and helpers are all sharing a little in the outcome of the book (though not, it is to be assumed, in the financial outcome – if there is one). It is a grand experiment – the kind of thing that a major publishing company should be able to do, but usually doesn’t. My question for everyone today is this: what do you think of all this crowdsourcing? Is it inevitable that the quality of the book will slip? Would you proofread a book for free if you got a credit at the end for any typos you found? What do you love or hate about this project? Let loose in the comments.