Delving into Audio: Babble and a List

I miss utilizing my space here on WOAW, and I’m sure many of you were shocked to find this post in your inbox. THIS IS NOT SPAM! HELLLOOOOO great blogging abyss!

I’ve been away from here while I publish romance novels, raise the little beasts (who are now bigger beasts), rock the cubicle life at the day job, and read-read-read like a boss. I’ve been thinking about revisiting blogging for a bunch of reasons, mostly having to do with the author-slash-publishing world being so frustrating crazy ass hard impossible difficult to navigate challenging. Still giving it a shot on that side of the world, but here, at WOAW, in the words of Frank Sinatra, I get to do it my way.

Tonight, I’d like to focus on my reading life, which also relates to cubicle life in this instance.

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Photo by Marc Mueller on Pexels.com

My Cubicle of Death, which I so lovingly like to call it, touches five other cubicles (NOTE: My cube looks nothing like this awesome hipster office space). One of the cubicles touching mine belongs to Loud Guy. Loud Guy is a very nice man who is passionate about his job, who’s forced to be on the phone all day, and who has volume control issues.

Everyone around Loud Guy plugs into some sort of earphone device, because everyone has crap to do and nobody wants to tell Loud Guy that he’s Loud. Don’t judge. Office politics can be tricky…

Personally, I don’t like having ear device things. I like being able to hear. Maybe it’s a result of being a mama beast to the aforementioned child beasts, I don’t know. Music is great, but with ear device things I just want to sing along, and I’m a horrific vocalist.

(ANOTHER NOTE: As you see, I’m still wandering off topic after all these years of blogging… Back to the point, Jess…)

Then it dawned on me. Why not kill two birds with one stone? I always look for more time to read, so why not join the cool kids and give Audiobooks a try? They seem to be growing in popularity and, as a fledgling author, I should stay on top of these things.

Since I’m not on the best terms with the library for the free stuff and would need to take out a loan to pay them off at this point (shhh, I blame the child beasts), I signed up for Audible. After five minutes of listening to my first audiobook at work, it was clear that I didn’t have the auditory staying power to focus on a novel. I even tried listening in the car, but the kind of books I’m audible-ing aren’t appropriate for the little beasts’ ears. So I gave up somewhere in the middle of ROOMHATE by Penelope Ward.

Then, the bastards at Audible sent me a coupon promo that I couldn’t resist and I signed up again, hoarding the credits they offered. Frankly, I also wanted to finish ROOMHATE (Seriously, look at this cover… OF COURSE I needed to read this. Link to Goodreads page in caption).

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Photo from Goodreads

On a mission to figure out how to focus on audiobooks, I downloaded a few favorites that I thought I could “train” myself to listen to. Books that I already knew the characters and plots, so that if I zoned out a little I wouldn’t be completely lost.

One that I downloaded was GONE WITH THE WIND. People. GWTW is a FORTY-EIGHT HOUR Audiobook! I could watch the movie TWELVE TIMES in 48 hours! But I have to admit that even though I’m only in Chapter Two, it’s a good listen (that will take me, oh, a decade to get through).

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Photo: Wikipedia

 

After listening to a handful of books that I was already familiar with (VISION IN WHITE by Nora Roberts, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER by Jamie McGuire, LOVE BY THE SLICE by Heather Young-Nichols, and BIRTH OF AN AMERICAN GIGOLO by Deek Rhew), eventually I finished ROOMHATE. I was adjusting to being a good listener, and was able to work and NOT hear Loud Guy.

I’m not sure I’ll stick with audio though, and since I know you’re dying to find out why, here’s my list of reasons:

  •  Time. I read fast, and listening seems to take forever. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been listening for years and realize I’m only on Chapter 5. I think that with reading, I’ve learned to skim over certain parts, and audio does not allow you to do that. You can skip ahead 30 seconds in audio, but it’s not the same. I go too far ahead or not far enough, and I lose focus fishing around to get to the right spot.
  • It’s expensive. Honestly, if I didn’t have the coupon, I probably wouldn’t want to pay the monthly fee. Isn’t it enough, Audible, that I’m buying the audiobook? Why do I have to pay you a monthly fee for the honor of purchasing stuff? (For those of you tsking at me because of my library issues, I know and you’re right. When I win the Powerball, I’ll definitely settle my tab there).
  • Narration arghhh. This is the big one for me and could be split into two subsections.
    • First, when I read, I have a certain tone in my head for the dialogue and narration can throw it all off. For example, in ROOMHATE (go ahead and take a moment to go look at the cover again… I’ll wait… sigh…), the narrator read the guy as being douchey, whereas if I read the words, he’d be more flirty. Huge difference to how I’m going to feel about the book and the happily ever after in the end. Does that make sense?
      • For example, take a sentence like: “You’re such an assh*le.” (My words, not Penelope Ward’s). I may read that like, “You’re SUCH an assh*le.” Whereas a narrator may say it like, “You’re such an ASSH*LE.” Go ahead, say them aloud and hear the difference. The former *could* be interpreted as more playful than the latter.
    • Second, I cannot seem to get into women doing the men’s voices, like, at all. I have yet to hear one that works for me (besides, possibly, Rhew’s BIRTH OF AN AMERICAN GIGOLO where the narrator does a great accent for Dios). I love the dual point of view books where there are two narrators, a male reader for the male POV chapters, and a female reader for the female POV chapters, but within those chapters, I hate when the female does the male’s dialogue. Why are the ladies making the men sound so nasally? Or slurring? Or worse, like they are twelve years old and a Little Rascal? Or like they are zombies or creepers?
  • Logistics. I can’t go back to my favorite pages and read them a million times when I’m listening. Maybe I can, but I don’t know how. Can you bookmark an audiobook? Also, if I buy a book on Audible, why can’t I have the ebook too? That only seems fair. This way I can highlight my favorite parts, quote them, etc.

That all being said, I still have six Audible credits banked and a fairly long plane trip coming up in two weeks, so I’ll stick with it. Currently, I’m listening to REBEL HEIR by Vi Keeland and the aforementioned Penelope Ward, and loving it.

So tell me: Do you like audiobooks? Which are your favorite? Am I doing it wrong? How do I gain back the trust of my town librarians!? If you have any advice or stories regarding your own audio experiences, comments are always open.

As always, thanks for reading and have a nice night!

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7 thoughts on “Delving into Audio: Babble and a List

  1. I’m SO glad you started listening to audiobooks! Okay, it’s so funny you say you hate it when women try to speak like men, b/c I’m the exact opposite – I hate when the men try to speak like women! Creeps me out! The best ones are when the narrator doesn’t change their voice for men or women. Thank you. WE KNOW WHO’S TALKING PEOPLE! Cassandra Campbell, a very popular narrator, understands this and does the best job at this.

    Now, let me recommend a few hundred audiobooks for you…starting with You by Caroline Kepnes. The narrator is SO good, and it’s going to be a Lifetime series. Happy listening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You will be my audiobook guru! I forgot that you loved audio before it was cool! Caroline Kepnes… got it! I’ll use one of my precious credits!

      Like

  2. This was the best surprise EVER!!!! Thank you for the early morning laughs. Your writing is so wonderful and relatable. Don’t stop blogging EVER. (My mom loves audiobooks. She listens to them while driving. It makes her drive really slow, though. Slower than usual.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t help you with the librarians, Jess! I used to work in a library; they are a cranky bunch! LOL But maybe I CAN help you with audio. I’m an audible junkie. I subscribe to the Audible romance package and I listen to even more books than I read now. I’m a big fan of ANYTHING read by Zachary Webber (OK, maybe not the Grey books….but anything else he reads!). I find his voice engaging. And hot, ok? There. I said it. Also anything read by Andi Ardnt. But some of my favorite audiobooks are CD Reiss’ King of Code, Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series, and the Erin Watt Royals series. Currently, I’m listening to Sawyer Bennett’s Atticus and that one has be enthralled too — and it’s not even a romance! LOL

    Like

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