Audio book: Why are you boring me?

Aaand because my work week is done, I’d like to share a topic I’ve been wanting to share before.

Credit to whoever made this icon 😛

Audio book. Just hearing that word makes me bored. I don’t know why that is my case but I haven’t had a chance to really enjoy audio books like my fellow readers. I’ve tried almost everything:

I’ve listened to an audio book which I already know the story. First audio book I attempted to listen to was Alice in Wonderland. Alice in Wonderland! Who doesn’t know that story? Alice in Wonderland is a story that I grew up loving. It is an easy and entertaining story and I thought it would be a good starter to someone who haven’t tried any audio books yet, but guess what? I can’t even get pass the 4th chapter. I zoned out and got sleepy and that was it.

I’ve opted for the dramatic reading rather than the usual one voice narrative. My second attempt was Madam Bovary (yeah I know, classic). I’ve mostly download audio books from LivriBox and also from other websites that offer it for free (I know I am cheap that way). I prefer to download audio books that are dramatized since I felt it had more depth or “action”/emphasis on the story itself. I also thought it wouldn’t be boring to hear a single voice throughout the whole story but same ending, I got bored and wasn’t able to finish it. Sucked big time too.

Listened to an audio book without any noise to distract me. Third and last attempt was to listen to Alice in Wonderland again in a room without any distraction. I was not working, laptop was off, had good headphones with noise cancellation and tight muffs – not a single sound to distract me. So I was happily listening to the audio book and I found my efforts helpful and I am happy to tell you guys I got pass chapter 6 – then woke up 8 hours after realizing I fell asleep listening to it. And that was the last attempt I did.

– and another credit to whoever owns this picture 😀

I don’t know if this is also the case with some of you but I think audio books are not really for me and that makes me sad because I would want to listen to an audio book if I am in a car or a train ride or when travelling since I get dizzy reading printed copies.

I have a four theories as to why I get bored and sleepy with audio books:

Theory 1Is it because I read printed copies faster than the narrator?

Theory 2Is it because they read like they’re bored? Don’t get me wrong, I salute volunteers for these projects but their voice are just so monotone but countering that, why do I still get bored with dramatic readings then? (sorry thinking aloud there)

Theory 3Is it the genre? I do believe that there are stories that are very enjoyable in printed copies and horrible in audio book formats and the other way around but do the genre really matter when you listen to audio books the same with genre preference when reading actual copies ’cause I think some readers would pick up an audio book for difficult or hard to read stories to understand them better. I wonder. Lets say I hate romance stories but I wanted to try an audio book, let’s name this book One Broken Heart*, if I didn’t enjoy One Broken Heart in a printed copy does it automatically mean that I wouldn’t enjoy it’s audio book version? Would I still hate it in the end since it romance? I don’t know if I am making sense – Or,

Theory 4Is it the reader? I believe every one has different preferences. There are really some that prefer printed copies, some enjoy eBooks more and then there are some who adores audio books. Am I part of the minority that won’t really enjoy audio books no matter what?

I wonder how audio books are with paid readers/actors? Is it any different? I really do want to enjoy audio books which is why I really am eager to try it out again so dear friends help a fellow reader here. What are your suggestions to a reader such as I?

* I just found out there’s an actual One Heart book – I am sorry but that wasn’t intentional. Title was solely to explain my point but let’s change it to not offend anybody. 🙂


12 thoughts on “Audio book: Why are you boring me?

  1. I often have that problem with audiobooks too. But I’ve been trying to listen to more of them since the commute to and from campus is three hours by bus….then I found out that didn’t work well because I have the tendency to fall asleep on buses. But I find audiobooks great during a monotonous act, for me it’s copying chinese characters in my chinese workbook, walking to classes, or doing art projects….or even waiting for the bus.

    Then the problem with narrators. I am convinced that I can’t listen to many classics, or at least ones with a strong Victorian accent–not because they are boring, but because I don’t know what the narrator read. I tend to choose books that I find suitable for audio (like memoirs), like Bossypants, that book is GREAT in audiobook format. And recently Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories, his experience as an actpor makes him GREAT for being a narrator (though I did have problems with his writing).
    On the other hand, I’m almost halfway through Insurgent by Veronica Roth and I don’t know if it’s because the narrator sounds like she’s scowling 24/7 (which is a good representation of Tris, I think) or it’s the story that just isn’t working *sigh*

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

    • Hi Lilian. I know, although I don’t have more experience to compare it to but yeah I would definitely agree that there are some that are narrators that are really monotonous. I think that narrations takes more than reading the story and from the comments that I have read so far, there are great recommendations from fellow readers so I might as well give it another go and see from there. On another note, still haven’t read Roths series but I’ve been dying to purchase a copy, should get to it soon ’cause it seems like a lot of people are gushing over it.

  2. I haven’t tried audio books because I’m so afraid that I won’t like them and usually they’re more expensive than the other formats. The only book I’ve ever considered getting on audio is Game of Thrones and that’s because both the book and the HBO series was awesome and I figured there’s no way I wouldnt like it.

    • Hey true that. Why didn’t I include that there? True, audio books are more expensive and I think it’s because of the narrators right? But some did mention borrowing audio books through the library, which unfortunately isn’t accessible in my area. Our libraries are not as awesome as some, don’t even know if we have a YA section in our library. Speaking of Game of Throne, haven’t gotten past the first book yet, actually I am still on the second chapter. Arrgh, with so much work and blogging obligations, I didn’t have the leisure to enjoy the book. How was it compared to the HBO series?

      • Truth be told…if you’ve read the book, the TV series will be easier to follow. If you’ve watched the show, the book will be easier to follow. There is such a HUGE cast of characters that it can be quite confusing at times who is who. I think about halfway through the first book, you start understanding the big picture. Also, a warning…the author likes killing characters so be wary of getting attached to any one in particular.

      • I know! I actually skimmed my copy of A Game of Thrones and was astounded at the 13 page appendix of characters at the back (paperback edition) that gave me an idea at how complex this series will be though I did finish season 1 of the series and knew that it had a big cast. Plus when I saw this in Tumblr I already know that killing characters was surely to be expected. Another question, how different/similar is the book from the tv series? Is season 1 completely from A Game of Thrones or does it include some parts of book 2? Ha! sorry so many question, I still don’t have the time to enjoy this series. arrrrr

  3. I personally LOVE audiobooks. I like to listen to them while I’m working on an art project. It makes the time go by faster and helps my creativity.
    I think your problem is probably the books you are picking. While I’m a massive AIW fan (I even have a AIW tattoo), I would never be able to listen to that audiobook. It’s just not the right type of book. Audiobooks also depend on their reader. There can be horrible readers and it will ruin the book.
    You should try the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. Those are *the* best audiobooks ever. Margarette Gavin does a wonderful job reading them. The Harry Potter audiobooks read by Jim Dale (and not Stephen Fry though those are good too) are great audiobooks too. I’d also say you should try doing something while listening. If you are just sitting there your mind can wonder.

    • So it is true that there are book that aren’t good in audio book formats? hmmmmmmm that’s really interesting to know. I think that helps in choosing what to listen next and thank you for the suggestion, will check them out soon and hopefully then my attempt will be a success. Thank for dropping by Ariel! Glad to meet you.

  4. Hi, Mary Grace.

    I love audiobooks and have been listening to them since Nov 2010. I never thought that I would ever enjoy them (I hated oral comprehension in school, and my mind tends to wander listening to someone speak for long stretches). However, with young kids, I went years with not having any time to read. A colleague recommended a book to me, and there were over 100 requests at the library but the Audio CDs were available. I thought I could get in at least a few hours a week on my work commute, and that was when I became hooked.

    A good narrator makes a huge difference. A bad or boring narrator does interfere with my enjoyment of the book.

    The first audiobook that I ever listened to — and the one that got me hooked — was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the book as much had I read it. It was narrated by a cast, and each character had a distinctive voice. I loved it!

    Rather than listening to the audiobooks at LibriVox (which I hear isn’t too bad, but I haven’t tried them), borrow an audiobook of a popular title from your local library. Most libraries also have e-libraries, so you can download audiobooks and then transfer them to your listening device (iPod, for example). They automatically expire after the lending period.

    I see from the bottom of your page that Black Dagger Brotherhood is one of your favourite series, and the narrator (Jim Frangione) is fantastic! Listening to that series makes me blush! Also, the Harry Potter series narrated by Jim Dale (there is another narrator who did the series as well, but I hear that Jim Dale is better) is supposed to be superb although I haven’t listened yet.

    I hope you’ll give audiobooks another try some time!

    • I think that a dramatic reading does improve an audio book, I just need to find the “right” one it seems so thank you for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I’ll check them out. Ariel also recommended the Jim Dale version so I am definitely curious. The one thing that sucks in the Philippines though is the lack of good selection. As I mentioned with Lizzy, our library (I think) doesn’t have audio book lending and I don’t even know if we have YA. This is one reason why I envy international libraries. Arrrgh. At the end of the day, I think that shelling out a few bucks for a good audio book is worth it so I’ll probably give this a try soon. Audible is a good site I hear.

  5. I agree with all your theories. I read like a fiend, and I think I’d be reading it faster than the person narrating it on audio. Also- I usually read along in my own head when I’m reading a printed copy. I also answer any questions that arise- any audio book I’ve tried to listen to has never provided entertainment like that. LOL. Seriously! It’s just not for me, I think it’s more for people who travel a lot and drive their car more- neither of which I do. Just a thought. I’m glad you blogged about it though, it’s good to know I’m not the only one!

    • Hi Georgette, yeah that’s what I kept hearing from other readers who have tried audio books, they tend to read faster than the narrator which results to them hesitating with audio books (which is also my case). There are a lot of use for sure but fellow readers above suggested great audio books so let’s give it one more try before closing our doors. Maybe, just maybe, we can get into it and enjoy it as well as others. 🙂 Have an awesome weekend Georgette.

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