I know that a lot of people really enjoy audio books. The hosts of The Sword and Laser podcast seem to get the majority of their book fix that way. I have to say that I just have a really hard time with this format.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing voice actors out there. I particularly like the actress that voices Patricia Cornwell‘s Kay Scarpetta books. I recently listened to This Book is Overdue! and loved HIllary Huber’s narration. Granted bad voice acting can turn me off in a heartbeat, especially mispronunciations. I didn’t even make it through one chapter of a recent audio book when the narrator pronounced the word frequently as “fruh’-kwantly.” I had to listen to it twice just to figure out what the heck she said.
While narration can be engaging or distracting, the real problem I have with audio books is finding the right circumstance in which to listen to them. I don’t have a long commute now, but when I did, I found that I either got wrapped up in the story and distracted from the drive, or got distracted by traffic and missed portions of the story. As a passenger, it’s not a bad way to spend time. Another time that I listen to, well anything really, is when I’m cooking. This is my prime podcast listening time however, so I hate to get behind on those to listen to a book. I have also noticed the same problem with cooking as driving. I get distracted by either the book or the task and find myself lost in either a very good or a very bad way.
Recently I got it in my head that it would be pure genius to try and listen to an audio book while playing World of Warcraft. “Of course,” I thought to myself, “I can do this while I do all the boring stuff like archaeology, auction house scans, and crafting. This is one of my best ideas evar!” Oh how wrong I was. Although I listened quite intently while on an automated flight path, as soon as I started to concentrate on guild chat, flying my own mount, or trying to figure out why that damn survey equipment is sending me in circles, I completely lost the flow of the story.
I’ve tried listening before sleeping and setting a timer so it would automagically pause just as I was falling asleep. That totally didn’t work either. I fell asleep long before that 20 minutes was up. If I try to sit and listen to an audio book the way I would sit and read my e-reader or a hard copy of the book, I find myself fidgeting and looking for something to do with myself, which normally leads to another distracting task (surfing the web, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry). I’m I just weird or does anyone else have this problem? Has anyone found a solution for it, or do I just need to find a reason for my husband to drive me around more often?