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Old 05-20-2011, 01:36 PM   #1
astrodad
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Audio book to ebook

Anyone start listening to an audio book and then get so engrossed in it that they start reading it, so as to finish it faster?

I've been listening to Neal Asher's The Skinner on the commute to work and have found myself running to the car during lunch to listen some more. I'm seriously considering buying it so that I can get through it quicker.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
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I haven't, but I've definitely wished I could have both the ebook and an audiobook with the ability to switch from one to the other at will (and in sync).

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Old 05-20-2011, 03:25 PM   #3
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I often check out both ebook and audiobook at the same time (or near the same time, if there's a waitlist) from the FLoP.

I can't really listen to an audiobook of something I haven't read yet, for some reason. My mind wanders and then when I come back to the narrative, I'm lost. If I've read the book before, though, I can reorient easily. Does anyone else have that problem?
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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What anamordoll said. I've actually been listening to audiobooks lately in an attempt to improve my listening skills - which suck.

I still only do well with books I've already read though. Even when I'm driving .... I zone out on the audiobook. My teachers used to complain all the time that I never listened in class. They were right.

So chances are when I get the audiobook from Overdrive, I probably have already read the book and I already own the eBook.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:16 PM   #5
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I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has trouble staying focused while listening to audio books, I tried one a few months back and would zone out and come back in and be lost, I may try overdrive again just to confirm my troubles with audiobooks
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has trouble staying focused while listening to audio books, I tried one a few months back and would zone out and come back in and be lost, I may try overdrive again just to confirm my troubles with audiobooks
I used to be this way. I think getting older helps. I now listen to an audiobook whenever I drive.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dawdler
I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has trouble staying focused while listening to audio books
Include me in that group. I'd really love to be able to take advantage of audio books, but I just space out within minutes. And I can't figure out exactly where I went brain-dead to find my place again.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:07 PM   #8
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Include me in that group. I'd really love to be able to take advantage of audio books, but I just space out within minutes. And I can't figure out exactly where I went brain-dead to find my place again.
I've gotten a little better over time with this with practice. But navigation is a huge problem with audiobooks: no text search, generic chapter headings (when there's a UI). One of the ePub 3.0 specs has to do with synchronizing text and audio, so we might see something in a year or two:

Quote:
EPUB Media Overlays 3.0 [MediaOverlays30], which defines a format and a processing model for synchronization of text and audio.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by astrodad View Post
Anyone start listening to an audio book and then get so engrossed in it that they start reading it, so as to finish it faster?

I've been listening to Neal Asher's The Skinner on the commute to work and have found myself running to the car during lunch to listen some more. I'm seriously considering buying it so that I can get through it quicker.
Yes, but not for the same reason. I've switched to the print version a couple of times to be able to skim through some of the denser parts, mostly nonfiction.

I tried Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger read by Simon Vance, gaving up after an hour or so. When I mentioned that at Goodreads, it was suggested that book's slow pace might not be optimal for audio, and to try reading it. Apprentice Alf was kind enough to supply me with an e-copy for my TBR pile.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:15 PM   #10
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I have ebook versions of most of the audiobooks that I listen to, for a couple of reasons. First, I find that listening to a book is a different experience than reading, that is to say, I get a different understanding of it. Sometimes I buy the audiobook after I've read the book, for example the Harry Potter books (I have those in dead tree version) or the Honor Harrington series. Other times, I find a book that I like in audio format and get the ebook version. And, yes sometimes, I get really into an audio book and get the ebook version to see what happens.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:53 AM   #11
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I don't think it's an attention span problem, for those of you beating up on yourself for zoning out when listening to audio books. Some people are audile learners and others are visual learners. I'm not surprised to hear that a lot of dedicated book readers lean more towards the visual spectrum!

So much can depend on the narrator, too. I really hated the voice acting for "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" that I listened to last year and the narrator just sounded so BORED.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:27 PM   #12
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It is interesting to hear the experiences of others with audio books as I have never got on with them. For me, it is the reader that is the most important. Readers seem to be chosen almost at random and it ruins the entire experience.

A couple of examples would be Jim Dale and the male that reads The Wheel of Time books. Dale sounds like someone who is trying to eat whole hard boiled eggs whilst having a broom handle inserted up his rectum. The WoT guy sounds like he is trying to make an urgent call on a pay phone and angrily looking for the coins and the number.

This distracts me from the book. Similarly I was sad when I got Windows 7 to find that the only voice available was US female and sounds like she is urgently looking for a toilet. Not even MS "Sam" was available and I have got used to him.

We have all been in the position of turning on the radio and hearing someone read a play or story and been unable to do anything except sit down and listen, to be whisked away into the readers world, so it cannot be that I just do not like audio books.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:21 PM   #13
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I have no opinion on Jim Dale myself as I've never heard him read anything, but folks seem to gush over his Harry Potter narration.

Most professional readers do a good job. Self-narrating authors ... not so much.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:06 AM   #14
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Most professional readers do a good job. Self-narrating authors ... not so much.
The only bad experience I have had with audio books was a self-narrating author. I never finished listening to the book. I have listened to a lot of audio books and have yet to come across a bad professional reader.

I haven't bought a book to finish reading faster, but I have bought real books to have on my shelf for reference. I have done this with ebooks too. I just really liked the book and wanted it for my collection. These books have always history books so far.
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:40 AM   #15
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Many folks love Bill Bryson's self-narration -- I find him a turnoff as a reader.

One non-fiction that I think probably works out better that way is Eric Weiner reading his own book: The Geography of Bliss.

Myla Goldberg did a good job with her fictional work Bee Season as well.
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