Discussion {What are You Looking for in an Audiobook?}

Posted June 22, 2015 by Liza in Discussion / 16 Comments


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.


What do you look for in an audiobook?  What’s important to you?  Do you listen to them? Why? Why not? What are some of your favorite? Why do you think a lot more people listen to audiobooks now?



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16 responses to “Discussion {What are You Looking for in an Audiobook?}

  1. I think narrators make a big difference and sometimes I just enjoy be read to. 🙂
    I’ve been listening to at least one audiobook a month lately. And I borrow mine from the library in CD format.

    I like listening in the car and also while cutting the lawn while using my lawn tractor. It makes the time go by faster.

    Chrystal recently posted: Ten Things You Don't Know About Me
  2. I could write a summary here but I’ll keep it short. I need a good narrator, that’s pretty much it. If there are male POV then I want a damn guy doing the guy parts. That is important for me.
    I also want a narrator to be able to change their voice and tone to reflect different characters and situations. If a scene is sad, I want to FEEL it.
    There are books that I knowI wouldn’t enjoy as much if it weren’t for the narrator. And there are books that no matter how much I love the story, if I hate the narrator, I CAN’T listen to it.

    • Liza

      I bet you can! I do like when there are two narrators when there is a dual point of view. Another thing that I don’t like is when the different characters don’t have a “distinct” voice, in other words, I can’t tell who’s speaking 🙁

  3. I agree. A good narrator is a must. They can make or break an audiobook. There have been some audiobooks where I wasn’t a huge fan of the story, but the narrator was so good I kept wanting to listen anyway. I’ve also had some books that I quit because the narrator was so bad. I usually pick up the book and finish, if that is the case.

    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted: Shadow Sight Audiobook by E. J. Stevens (REVIEW)
    • Liza

      You couldn’t be more right, that has happened to me a few times. It’s even worse when the narrator is just aggravating and it hinders the story instead of helping it.

  4. I love Elizabeth Louise, Sebastian York, Zachary Webber and Deacon Lee! I always listen to a sample because there are some narrators out there that are so dull and are pretty much robotic, which I totally don’t like. I love listening to the audio books when I’m driving. I just sync my iPad’s Bluetooth with the car’s Bluetooth and listen to them while I drive to college. It’s very fun and exciting, to be honest. I haven’t listened to an audio book in a while. The last one I heard probably was Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover and I really liked the narrators in that one.

    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews recently posted: The Deal by Elle Kennedy | Review
    • Liza

      Hi Genesis! Maybe Someday in audio was my first Hoover book ever and I loved it 🙂 I’m terrible when listening to the samples and I should do it more, especially when audio books are more expensive than eBooks.

  5. I only started listening to audiobooks earlier this year and I love them. They’ve changed the way I see doing chores. Haha! 😀 I actually look forward to doing my chores.
    A good narrator is VERY important to me. In fact, it might be the most important part for me. There are books that I know wouldn’t work for me in physical form, but I still enjoy the audiobooks because of the narrator.
    Genre is also an important part for me. I have a hard time listening to fantasy on audio because the world buildings can be so complex. I’m hoping that changes for me soon.
    Great post, Liza!

    Nick @ Nick's Book Blog recently posted: Review : Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
    • Liza

      Yay! Welcome to the club Nick 🙂 The same thing happened to me with fantasies at the beginning, but I’m getting better at them. I listened to the Seven Realms series recently and I LOVE it so hard!

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