The Bookshelf

Audio Books: Yea or Nay?


So what’s your take on audio books? I don’t normally listen to audio books. I rather read the book myself. However, occasionally while I’m working I’ll “listen” to a book. I picked up the Hunger Games third book about 5 months ago and started reading it. It didn’t grab me as much as the first two books did, but the OCD person in me MUST finish the book I started. That’s just how I am. Over the past 5 months I’ve picked it up, read a chapter, and then put it down. I don’t touch it again for weeks. I found the audio version on YouTube the other day. I figured that would be a great way to finish the book seeing I can’t start on the list of books I want to read until I finish this one (yeah, I’m weird).

I plugged my headphones in and started to listen. It’s awful. Absolutely awful! They couldn’t have picked a more terrible narrator for her character. Maybe I,m being bias seeing I never read the Hunger Games until it came out in the theater. I saw the movie first (I know, totally backwards). But I picture Katniss as Jennifer Lawrence. I picture Katniss as described in the book…a teenager. I picture Katniss a super badass.

The narrator for the audio version of the book sounds so pretentious. English accent. Maybe in her 40s. It just doesn’t match the character at all. Listening to the book is more torturous then trying to get through the book myself. Am I out of line to think that the voice should match the character described in the book especially when the book is told in the first person?

So what’s your take on audio books? Do you listen to them? How much does the narrator’s voice affect your decision to keep on listening?

9 thoughts on “Audio Books: Yea or Nay?

  1. Every time I try to listen to an audio tape the voice is awful. I even tried the Secret a couple of weeks ago. I thought I was listening to porno. Where do they find these people?

  2. I agree that the narrator / characters’ voice can make or break an audio book! We have listened to many audio books in the car while traveling. The tricky part is finding a book that appeals to the whole family. But over the years, we have really enjoyed a number of audio books together. Funny coincidence… I have a blog set to go live tomorrow on this very subject! ( I subscribe to your blog & was super surprised to see your title pop up in my feed. Keep up the great job on your blog!

  3. I love audio books for road trips or when I have a project I am working on like painting. The narrator can truly kill the book though so I have made a point to listen to a preview before committing. I actually subscribe to Audible and find the $15 (typically one book per month) is really worth it! For what it is worth the book series really is good but you may want to read all 3 before seeing any more of the movies. The second film comes out this fall I think!

  4. I NEED to finish this darn third book!! The second movie comes out in the November. Why is it that I feel like I’m cheating by listening to an audiobook? I feel like I’m in high school using CliffsNotes!!

  5. I LOVE audio books for my work commute. The biggest issue I’ve found is that when there’s questionable language, those parts always seem to come on when I have the kids with me! LOL I most recently listened to “Gone Girl” and the narrators were AWESOME!

  6. Yeah, the 3rd book isn’t as good as the other two, but definitely worth finishing. I don’t like audio books because the narrators usually are awful, like you said. The one exception was Angela’s Ashes (which I only heard during a long road trip through Great Britain during college) because the narrator had a cute accent and said the funny parts with a funny voice so to an American, it was HYSTERICAL. I would totally listen to Bossy Pants if narrated by Tina Fey though. That book was great and hearing her actually voice it would make it perfection. 🙂

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