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Old 10-18-2018, 03:22 PM   #1
leebase
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How to enjoy an audio book

Some tips for the curios froma fan of “reading” audiobooks.

1. Choose the right content. A book on math of physics is not likely to be a good audio book. Histories, stories, biographies, most any summer beach book, fiction in general...can all be excellently delivered by audiobook.

2. Try a sample. I listen to audiobooks mostly via Audible and they have a good track record with me in having quality narrators. That said, everyone has their own taste...so listen to a sample first. I love Scott Brick's narrations (does the Ender's Game Series). Tinker, Taylor, Soldier Spy - eww, the narrator was so bad I couldn’t enjoy the book and never finished. But don’t form your opinions about audio books based on a bad narrator.

3. Try the Bible. If you are a reader of the Bible, there are many options to listen to it. Better and worse versions. I did a whole “read you bible in a year” by listening to a lightly dramatized version using one of the modern English translations (like the Living Bible). Wouldn’t use that one for defining my doctrine, but it was great to get a fresh take on familiar scriptures.

When listening to the Bible, you can come away with new insights that weren’t readily available when reading. My understanding of both Job and Romans was particularly enhanced due to listening.

I liked having different people read the different character's and the minimal music or sounds (like animals if the scene was in a market). They didn’t change the actual words.

There are versions with just one voice and no attempt at all to distinguish characters and different versions of the Bible.

4. Listen to the book when doing something else that doesn’t need your full attention like doing household chores, taking a walk. You might not want to start while driving.

Enjoy
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:58 PM   #2
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My tip would be to start with something familiar until you get used to listening. I started with rereads of books I'd read a million years ago in high school and college. Because they were familiar, I didn't have to worry about losing the gist of the story even if I got a bit distracted. After a few books, I got used to listening.

I recommend LibriVox for free public domain books. The readers vary widely; some of them are excellent and others not so much.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:00 PM   #3
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My tip would be to start with something familiar until you get used to listening. I started with rereads of books I'd read a million years ago in high school and college. Because they were familiar, I didn't have to worry about losing the gist of the story even if I got a bit distracted. After a few books, I got used to listening.
I think this is the single best tip for someone who wants to try audiobooks. It is a learned skill.

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2. Try a sample. I listen to audiobooks mostly via Audible and they have a good track record with me in having quality narrators. That said, everyone has their own taste...so listen to a sample first. I love Scott Brick's narrations (does the Ender's Game Series). Tinker, Taylor, Soldier Spy - eww, the narrator was so bad I couldn’t enjoy the book and never finished. But don’t form your opinions about audio books based on a bad narrator.
Yep. Narrators matter. A bad narrator will ruin a good book. That said, all of the most popular narrators have their naysayers, so you've got to try for yourself (Scott Brick is not universally popular, just saying ). However, there are some where all the reviews agree on the awfulness of the narration and you might as well take their word for it in that case.

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I liked having different people read the different character's and the minimal music or sounds (like animals if the scene was in a market). They didn’t change the actual words.
I've never listened to the bible, but generally I prefer a single narrator.

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4. Listen to the book when doing something else that doesn’t need your full attention like doing household chores, taking a walk. You might not want to start while driving.
[/QUOTE]

Heh. I started listening to audiobooks when I couldn't stand listening to the news any more while driving to work because it got me too jangled, but mine was a largely mindless drive. One of the great uses of audiobooks is while exercising. It doesn't make it fun, but it helps make it endurable.
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:45 PM   #4
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I mostly listen while driving. Of course, it really comes down to the individual. Some people have trouble keeping their primary focus on the road while listening to audiobooks. At work, I only listen to audiobooks while doing rote tasks such as testing my software. Depending on how much I need to focus, I might have nature sounds on (highest focus), music, all the way down to podcasts and audiobooks.

Agree that a bad narrator can ruin any book, a good narrator can make an ok book much better.

The vast majority of my audiobook listens are books I've already read as paper or ebooks. It really is a different experience, IMPO. I listen mostly to fiction and history. Can't say that I've listened to anyone read the Bible, but I have listened to Don't Know Much About the Bible and enjoyed it.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:07 AM   #5
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Heh. I started listening to audiobooks when I couldn't stand listening to the news any more while driving to work because it got me too jangled, but mine was a largely mindless drive. One of the great uses of audiobooks is while exercising. It doesn't make it fun, but it helps make it endurable.
I started listening to audiobooks, while going to work. A full train and reading a paperbook doesn't really work very well... Then I got a driver's license and a car and my audiobooks were put on a shelf for a bit. Until I got a job about an hour and a half drive away from home. I started to listen again during that drive (first half hour was mostly stop and go kind of traffic [no idea what the name is in English, I only know the Dutch and German words for it ), and after that, the road was generally empty (we're talking highway kind of roads).

Now, I mostly listen when I'm doing repetative tasks, or when my eyes are simply too tired (but not me).
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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i have two tips. My main tip is to try out different apps and methods to play your audiobooks. Give yourself 3 audio books before hanging it up. As mentioned, listening is a skill.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:57 AM   #7
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first half hour was mostly stop and go kind of traffic [no idea what the name is in English
"Stop and go"
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:16 PM   #8
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"Stop and go"
And if its more stop than go, then it's a parking lot
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:24 PM   #9
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Agreed -- I listen to audiobooks while driving - but only on cross country drives. I don't listen until I'm around Chicago, and onto non-congested suburban freeways (tollways, actually). I do local radio through the congested area.

However, coming home, I'm already "in the groove" and accustomed to how to listen, with 10-11 hours under my belt already. So I listen even on the Chicago outskirt loop, until I finish the book. Then I'll go back to local radio stations that are programmed into my car.

I hardly notice the time duration of these loooong drives, now that I'm listening to audiobooks! For me the genre is mystery, but choose whatever genre you like best.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:26 PM   #10
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I hate the readers that Gasp ... it like they never learned to Breathe while talking!
Or they Spit in the mic!
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:51 PM   #11
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I have recently started to warm to audiobooks. I mostly listen to them when I'm out walking the dog. I'm just starting to listen when I get into bed but am not terribly sleepy yet. I found that listening to short stories rather than novels is easier for me. I can finish one in two or three dog walks usually, so they don't drag on forever, leading to me getting distracted and forgetting plots/characters.

I also found that travel books - specifically, things like Bill Bryson's "In a Sunburned Country" - are good, since there's no plot to keep track of or characters you need to remember. Bryson's travel descriptions are humorous and just rolling descriptions of what happens next, you don't really need to remember what happened earlier to enjoy a current description.
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