Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Mondays—I HEARD this great book . . .


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

Here’s my Musing Monday ramble for this week:

audiobooks-300x300I have a 30 mile commute to work each day—it takes me about an hour. It’s not a hard, “white-knuckle” drive—it’s mainly through the suburbs on secondary roads—but it does wear on me sometimes, especially in the winter. But last week I started doing something that makes me almost look forward to getting in the car every morning and late afternoon—I put an audiobook from the library onto my iPod and listened to it on my commute.

I’ve never really been into audiobooks. Several years ago I borrowed a few on CD (pre-iPod days!) but the format never really caught on with me. I’m not sure what made the difference this time, but I think my drive time just got a much needed lift!

I’m really lucky that my local library has a huge selection of audiobooks available for downloading. Right now I’m listening to The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud—a pretty interesting novel that I’ve been wanting to read for quite awhile. I’m sure that the narrator plays a huge role in whether or not the listener enjoys a particular audiobook, and the woman reading this one is really good—she’s even able to read the accented dialogue of several of the characters authentically without being annoying about it. I’ve also got to say that the main character of this story is one of the ANGRIEST characters I’ve encountered in a book in a long time—and the narrator does a great job of expressing that simmering rage without going over the top.

I’ve got about three hours to go with this book–that’s about two days of driving for me. I already know I’ll be loading another book onto my iPod immediately when I’m finished.  I also know that at some point I’ll be trying a nonfiction title—I read a lot of nonfiction and will be interested to see (hear?) how that genre translates to this format.

How about you? Are you a fan of audiobooks? When do you listen to them? How/where do you get your audiobooks? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

25 thoughts on “Musing Mondays—I HEARD this great book . . .

  1. I keep a book on cd going in my car all the time. In fact I am heading to the library to check out several for my trip.

    • I love the fact that my library has such an extensive supply of these–so convenient and easy on the budget, which is important to me as I seem to have no self control when it comes to buying physical books. 🙂

  2. i only just picked up my first audiobook this month. I was doing the bout of books readathon and my eyes were tired, so i decided to pick up the headphones. I listened to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, read out by Stephen Fry. I loved it, and I am currently listening to the third in the series. The reader has changed to Martin Freeman now 🙂

  3. I LOVE audiobooks! I’ve blogged about this topic often. I have a twenty mile commute and listening to a book on my drive to and from work makes it much more enjoyable, especially on those nasty weather days where I need to double my commute time. also borrow them from my local library, I’m never without them!

    • Yes–we’re right in the middle of winter here and I can never predict how long my commute will take these days. I think that audiobooks are definitely going to become one of those “must have” driving supplies!

  4. That’s a great idea to make your commute more enjoyable. I haven’t tried audiobooks yet and I live 5 minutes from work. But if I had a commute like you, I should definitively give audiobooks a try.

  5. I have listened to books in my car for years. In fact that ‘s how I do most of my reading, and I love the new technology. In the past I was constantly losing CD’s and getting them back late etc. But now I can download to my Ipod and do away with all of that. E audio books just go away when your time is up, and there’s no bits and pieces to lose.

  6. I love audiobooks, but the experience is a little different than reading a physical book. For one, I really had to train myself to focus on the audio—my mind seems to wander easily when listening to an audiobook!

    I get most titles via the library. I use OverDrive Media on my phone to download audiobooks from the library.

    • That’s very true–I do have to consciously make myself focus. I have a habit of just letting my thoughts drift when I drive, and that doesn’t work while listening to a book.

  7. I’d not really tried audio books until I decided to try A Christmas Carol which was wonderful. I followed this up with The Hound of the Baskervilles, also very good, but I do find my mind wanders much more than when I read. I think I need more practice but I can see why they appeal.

    • I find that my mind wanders more when it’s a descriptive part–it’s easier for me to focus when there’s dialogue. I’ll just have to keep practicing! I have the day off of work today, so no driving or audiobooking–I’ll continue listening on Tuesday!

  8. I’ve once tried to listen to an audiobooks, I still need the ebook on my hand. Well, it was because english is not my native language.
    But its an okay experience though 🙂
    And your point: the narrator plays a huge role in whether or not the listener enjoys a particular audiobook its agreeable. They’re doing the job of storyteller, so they need to -at least- reach the storytelling ability (imo).

  9. I LOVE audio books. I work in a library and borrow them on a regular basis for my commute. There are so many good ones. And so much depends on the reader. Two great performances that come to mind are Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The Help was really well done, too.

    • I’m so glad that I lucked out and just by chance found a book with a great narrator to start this habit!
      I’ve heard so much about The Ocean At The End Of The Lane–I may need to try listening to that in the future.

  10. I got into audiobooks a couple years ago, and I listen while knitting. I mostly listen to memoirs read by the writers. I’m not sure if I could listen in the car–I wonder if I would tune it out and listen to my thoughts.

    • Listening to a memoir READ by the author sounds like it would be a great experience!
      And yes–I’ve found that I definitely need to focus on staying focused, rather than let my mind just ramble off.

  11. I grew up listening to books on CD on family road trips. My introduction to Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, and Agatha Christie came from audiobooks. I love “reading” this way, but I agree that the narrator makes all the difference. The narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks, for example, is excellent. If you’re a Bill Bryson fan, get the audio versions that he himself narrates – the ones done by others aren’t as good.

    • You’ve just given me an idea–I used to love Agatha Christie, but haven’t read any of her books in years–and I’ve certainly never read ALL of them. An audiobook version may be just the thing to get back into an Agatha Christie habit . . .

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