Audiobooks?

Not from me. For me, lol.

I work in a lab, and these days I spend a lot of time mounting bugs and worms on slides.  Yum, I know.  Anyway, it’s not exactly mind-consuming work, and the guys insist on listening to NPR all day.  This was fine for a while, but I swear if I have to hear anymore about bailouts, health reform, Iraq, terrorism, and anything else remotely political, I might toss the radio across the room.

I was listening to music, which is fine, but I’ve been trying to keep the old (songs in alphabetical order) iPod in the car and the new one with me, and when I listen to playlists or albums, I always get to the end and go, “What now?”  And I’m finding it harder to answer that question.

Then Glee last week was awesome (the Madonna ep, yeah), and so I downloaded that episode.  I’ve listened to it twice at work.  This reminded me that it’s lots of fun to listen to tv (I mean, when you can’t actually watch tv), so I’ve been going through my Studio 60 eps.  But… I’m going to run out of them soon.  They’re only 45 minutes each, and it’s an 8-hour day (and I’ve listened to the best ones already anyway).  So that just leaves me with 45 minutes of Dr. Horrible, and I’ll be out of videos.  Those take up a lot of room on my iPod, so I wasn’t looking to download more episodes of things unless they’re really special. 

But, I thought, what about books?  I mean, I could knock out a late Harry Potter in three work days (according to the time iTunes tells me it would take).  And Harry Potter’s totally something I could listen to, and I’ve heard the narrator is good.  So I looked it up. 

Wow.

It’s like $50 on iTunes to get a late Harry Potter audiobook.

In fact, most the audiobooks appear to be at least as expensive as a hardbound book, if not more.  I’m seeing lots in the high teens and twenties.  I’m looking at the second Percy Jackson book right now, and it’s 8 hours long and $23.  That’s right.  For one work day’s worth of listening (I mean there’ll be some overflow ‘cuz of other work stuff I’ll have to do, but basically one day), I’d have to pay $23.

So now, I’m really reconsidering this audiobook thing. 

Someone recommended Audible.com, but I’m not sure if that’s a better deal.  The books look about the same price, unless you do their membership.  They have different memberships, but I’m not sure any of them will actually be worth it.  Partly this is because I don’t know how listening to an audiobook will really work out for me.

One difference between listening to Studio 60 vs. listening to NRP (other than, yanno, the fictional plots and scripted dialogue) is that the story is told with many different voices, that keep my mind active and engaged.  I’m worried that one voice talking for so many hours in a row is going to let my mind wander a little more.  I’m worried I won’t like the narrator and their voice will get on my nerves after a while.  I’m worried that because I see words better than I hear them, I’ll have a hard time following a story I don’t already know or one full of dense narrative or a complex one.  (Otherwise, I would have downloaded an Agatha Christie novel already and tested it out–but, no, there’s no way I’m going to catch all the clues this way, which is half the fun ;))

So I’m looking for audiobook recs.  Is there anything anyone’s listened to that they thought was done really well?  Any websites you really liked that had them?  Maybe some place not toooooo expensive?  Let me know.

Currently on iPod: The Devil in the Wishing Well by Five for Fighting

Lots of love,

Sage

ETA:  Oh, yeah, I forgot?  Do you like the new background.  I’m trying it out.  I didn’t like that my links were at the bottom and there was so much wasted space on the sides.

Update: I ended up getting Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green, just to try out this audiobook thing.  On iTunes, it’s about the same price as the actual book, and it’s the length of a work day, so if it doesn’t work, I’ll know tomorrow.  I listened to the preview and the guy who reads the first chapter sounds excellent.  So much voice.

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8 thoughts on “Audiobooks?

  1. Sometimes for mysteries and stuff, the narrarator will do different voices, or they may have a girl do the girl parts and a guy do the guy parts. I like fluff stories or mysteries when listening to audiobooks…something you can get into, but not something you have to really focus on. Go to Borders and they should have some on sale. These aren’t usually the biggest hits, but they give you something to do for a day (think of all my long trips to Turlock and AZ). Also, I’ve checked them out of the library before. That would be free! Hope this helps!

  2. Yeah, audio books are expensive. Sorry, I don’t have any recommendations. But I’m wondering, why not check out audio books from the library? Their selection obviously won’t be as big as you’d find on websites that sell AB, but you’ll have enough time to find someplace that doesn’t sell them for a ridiculously expensive price while not losing your mind.

    Good luck.

    And I like your background. It’s really cool. The colors work very well with each other, and its simplicity is wonderful.

  3. The reason I don’t want to check out an audiobook from the library is that I have no way to listen to anything at work except my iPod or the radio, and my netbook has no cd drive, so if I were to take the book from a cd I borrowed from the library (which I think is prolly illegal), I’d have to put it on another computer, then somehow get it to the netbook so that I could upload it onto the iPod.

  4. Get a portable cd player? still would be cheaper than buying a bunch of audiobooks. Oh, and did you know there’s a little smiley face at the very bottom of your blog?

  5. The only audiobook I’ve ever listened to was the one for City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. It was only okay though. I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

    Oh I have heard bits and pieces of the HP audiobook and the narrator is fantastic. But sorry I don’t really have any recs 😦

  6. Audiobooks are so great. I’m not going to lie though, they are expensive. Here are my tricks:
    1. join audible. They usually have a great deal for the first month or three. I’ve joined (and canceled) twice. To salve my conscience I usually stay a month or two past the initial period. I haven’t done it in awhile, but as I recall for about $10/month you get one audiobook. Not horrible.
    2. My library actually has an eaudiobook program that is AWESOME. Don’t know how widespread that kind of thing is, but maybe contact your library about it? Mine uses a program called overdrive, and I can check out audiobooks and download them directly to my iPod. They “expire” after a certain amount of time (sort of)
    3. Sometimes in a true bind I’ll get the CDs out of the library & import them onto my iPod. BUT, i always take them off after the check out time has expired. I justify this because I honestly don’t own a cd player anymore.

    I’m obsessed with audiobooks at the moment. the HP ones have an amazing narrator, but the best one I’ve listened to lately was The Help. Really well done. Some books lend themselves well to the format–others, not so much. Couldn’t get through any of the Libba Bray books on audio. Go figure…

  7. Hey, I know this feed is a few months old, but I am an audiobook junkie, and since no one recommended librivox.org, I just had to add my two cents. It is a free site with thousands of free audiobooks read by volunteers. The reason they are free is because all the books are in the public domain. This means no Twilight or Stephen King, of course, since all literature in the public domain is out of copyright (usually books written before the 1930’s). I have so many classic books on my list that I figured I would try a few out. You’ll find everything from Jane Austen to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Dostoevsky. There’s fiction, non-fiction, biography, poetry, etc. And most of the narrators are quite good, especially for being volunteers. If you try it, let me know what you think!
    ~torina~

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