Audio Books

google_listenI 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?


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