If you were too see me strolling down the street, from the outside I’d probably look like your typical modern day teenager, headphones on head, iPod in hand, lost in whatever hip new song is topping the charts. You may, however, be slightly confused when seemingly out of nowhere, tears start pouring down my face and I have to take shelter in a near by Starbucks to try to calm by sobbing. Because the truth is, I hardly ever listen to music, I only listen to books.
The ‘crying on the side of the road’ incident occurred last Sunday when after 3 weeks and 33 hours of audio book heaven I finally finished The Hunger Games and was so overcome with emotion I had to have a little (okay, maybe not that little) cry. Audio books truly are one of the most important things in my life (after knitting and Grey’s Anatomy).
A few years ago, I was having a lot of trouble reading due to various back problems so I started to really get into audiobooks. I started light – Princess Diaries, Gossip Girl, that sort of thing. But after getting a bit more used to listening instead of reading, I moved onto heavier books (does Twilight count as heavy?). I spend a fair bit of time on my own and to be honest, audio books provide such good company, I’m scared I’m going to end up an 80-year-old woman who still hasn’t bothered to make any friends. When I try to talk to people about my obsessive love of the talking book, a lot of people tell me they have never been able to get into them as they are often distracted or can’t find the time. So these are my top tips for how to begin your audio book discovery journey, and a few of my faves.
- If you’re not sure what book to start with, try to find an autobiography of one of your favorite celebrities or comedians. Most celebrities read there own autobiographies on audio book and if you’ve ever dreamed of spending 12 hours with Mindy Kaling or Tina Fey, I’m pretty sure this is the closest you can get.
- Always make sure you are doing something at the same time. One of the easiest ways to get distracted while listening to an audiobook is if you just sit there, staring into space, trying to listen. Your mind will start to wander and pretty soon you’ll realize you’ve missed a huge chunk of Katniss/Peeta action. The best way to not get distracted is, weirdly, to do something a little distracting. Make sure it’s something easy that doesn’t use a lot of brainpower like knitting or painting your nails and it will help you to focus a lot better.
- Give a book a good try, but if you’re not feeling it, turn it off. There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a 12-hour long audio book that you hate. If you feel like you’re getting bored or want to murder the person who is reading your book, just turn it off and try to find one you like a bit more.
- Go to audible.com – a lot of people complain that audiobooks are too pricey but audible .com is the best website ever. You get 2 books a month for £14.99 and they have all the same selection as iTunes.
- Listen to a sample of the book before you buy. A few years ago, when I had to read Jane Eyre for school, I accidentally downloaded an audiobook with an American reading it. She pronounced everyone’s names wrong and when I came into school on the first day I was ridiculed for the rest of term for my crazy pronunciation.
My Favorite Audio books.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Obviously this is a completely brilliant book no matter what format it’s in, but it’s also a really great audio book. The woman reading it does each character perfectly and if you’ve already read the books but need some more Hunger Games action while your waiting for the film, I would recommend these.