I started listening to audiobooks about five years ago. Initially, I started getting them from the library because my commute to work was an hour long each way in a good day (you don’t what to get me started in DC traffic!) I talked about my love for audiobooks and some of my pros and cons in a discussion post a few years ago (you can see that one here) and I won’t repeat myself again. Instead, for those audiobook lovers out there, let’s discuss what makes you decide to get an audiobook versus getting the book in another format.
For me, audiobooks are a time saver. I can listen to them while I drive and while I’m doing something else, which is usually house work. This allows me to ‘read’ while I’m cooking or cleaning the house. It’s one of the main reasons that I love them. Also, I can listen to them faster (at 1.5 speed since English is my second language) and that’s something I can’t do when I read a book. These are probably some of the reasons that audiobooks seem to be a lot more popular now.
One of the things that I look for in an audiobook is a good narrator. I don’t have a lot of experience on this, but some narrators, like Elizabeth Louise, Sebastian York, Carol Monda, Emily Gray, Zachary Webber, and Fiona Hardingham make listening to the audiobook a worthwhile endeavor.
The length of the audiobook is not a deterrent for me (neither is how many pages are in a book) and doesn’t come into play when I decide to purchase or borrow one from the library. The genre might make a difference to some listeners and I confess that for a while it was hard for me to listen to a fantasy book because the names are very often strange and unique. For instance, I started listening to Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson in audio and I had to switch to the book because I couldn’t follow the plot very well. Now, I do a lot better with fantasy or Sci-fi in audio.