Good Afternoon everyone,
It’s been a long time since I’ve published a post about Audiobooks and I think it is about time I re-introduce this topic in my blog. Why? Because not only Audiobooks are awesome, but also because I’ve been listening to a lot of them. It is because of Audiobooks I’m being able to keep my yearly reading challenges in Goodreads, and this means I’ve been reviewing quite a few audiobooks here at From Pemberley to Milton.
But every time I review a book I’ve listened to on Audible, I feel something is missing. I’m not happy with the structure I use to review them and I’ve been working on new strategies to review audiobooks in an organized and harmonized manner, so I’ve finally came up with a rating system that I believe will help me and my readers to clearly identify the quality of the narration.
Apart from the usual stars rating system that I will continue to use concerning the story itself, I will now use the Bennet Sisters rating system to appraise the narration.
The Bennet Sisters rating system will be as follows:
Elizabeth Bennet – Perfect! There is no way this narration could have been better, everyone wants to get to this level.
Jane Bennet – Pretty good! The narration is lovely and adorable but it isn’t the Elizabeth Bennet everyone wants to be.
Mary Bennet – Not bad, but not that good either. The narration is pretty much like Mary: simply plain.
Kitty Bennet – It is not very good, but there is still hope for improvement.
Lydia Bennet – It is hopeless case. It will never get better.
What do you think? Does it make sense? I hope this makes sense to you and that you find this new format of reviewing audiobooks helpful 🙂
Additionally I will have to create a new page on my blog fully dedicated to audiobooks, but that will have to happen only when I have some free time to revamp the entire blog design (a project that has been in the pipeline for the last 2 years!).
I’ve recently done a survey on this blog to try to understand which type of reviews people enjoyed the most, and audiobooks had a very low percentage of replies, but still, since I am listening to them, I think it is only fair I also rate the narration.
It is also my impression that this is a market that is continually growing, so I’m hoping more and more people will join me in the love for audiobooks. If you’re not into them yet, here is why you should give it a try:
1 – Time saver
With Audiobooks you can ‘read’ a book while walking/cleaning/driving etc, and this means not only that you can save time because you are multitasking, but it also means you will be entertained while doing boring tasks. My commutes to work are incredibly long, and without audiobooks I think I would get to work much more stressed. Audiobooks keep me company and distract me from the city stress while stuck in traffic. The same thing applies to my walks or even the chores I do at home. If I’m listening to an audiobook I don’t get the feeling I’m wasting my time doing something that doesn’t bring me much enjoyment.
2 – You can listen to audiobooks in the dark
No lights? No problem. If you want to stay up and your roommate wants to sleep, you can just grab a pair of headphones and listen to your book in the dark! Plus this experience of listening in the dark is very relaxing and really transports you into the book.
3 – Audiobooks can be enjoyed by those with disabilities
If you have dyslexia, visual impairments, muscle degeneration in the hands or any other disability that makes it difficult to read a physical book , audiobooks may become your best friend! The accessibility to books that audiobooks provide is incredible. Everyone deserves to be able to delve into a story regardless of their eyesight or physical or ability and audiobooks are opening doors in that area by connecting everyone with the love for storytelling.
4 – Audiobooks allow you to revisit the classics or re-read your favourite books
Sometimes I really feel the need to go back to a story I’ve loved, but with so many books coming out on a monthly basis, I feel I don’t have time for re-reads, and that is where audiobooks come in. I tend to buy more books on Audible that I’ve read before then new titles because for me audiobooks are complementary to e-books or paperbacks. They also allow me to try new authors that I wouldn’t try on ebook format, so they keep opening doors for me. Who knows if they won’t do it for you too.
5 – Great narrators provide you incredible experiences
Great narrators will guide you through the story effortlessly and you will forget everything around you. You will feel transported into the book in a magical way.
Whatever your age or situation, the narrator can be there for you, always ready to read you a story.
6 – You can listen to Colin Firth and Richard Armitage’s voices for hours!
Yup, these two gents have also narrated a few books and honestly all you can focus on in the beginning is their voice. But that just means you’ll have to listen to the audiobook twice and have more of Colin or Richard’s voice speaking to yourself alone. You can start with The End of the Affair narrated by Colin Firth, or Sylvester written by Georgette Heyer and narrated by Richard Armitage. If these two didn’t convince you, what about trying to listen to Richard narrating another one of Heyer’s novels such as Venetia, or Classic Love Poems? And yes, you got that right too, you can actually listen to Richard Armitage reading love poems to you 🙂
7 – Book Binging
I absolutely love reading but I also receive more requests to review books then I can manage. Audiobooks are a great help in this area because they allow me to “read” more than one book at the same time. I can read an ebook and listen to an audiobook simultaneously, and that allows me to increase the number of books I can read in a month. It is also great if you want to read different genres and diversity your reading habits. you can read one specific genre and listen to another. I promise you won’t get the details mixed up 🙂
8 – They help you improve your language skills
If you are learning a second or third language, hearing it spoken can be really important to cement your memory. You are able to acquire more vocabulary and improve your pronunciation too.
9 – Audible’s database keeps growing
A couple of years ago there weren’t that many JAFF books to choose from on Audible and I listened to most that were available, but nowadays most authors are joining Audible and at this point it is already impossible for me to keep up, so you know you will have plenty to choose from.
10 – Diversity
Some books are better to consume over audio than over text such as conceptual books and biographies. I would probably not buy biographies to read on my kindle, but I may grab an audio copy and discover more about a certain person because I find the narration more appealing. It feels like someone is telling me about someone else’s life, and that’s more appelaing then reading about it.
Has any of these reasons convince you to try Audiobooks? If they have, I have good news for you. Amazon’s Audible program allows you to try Audiobooks for FREE during one month, so there is no risk in trying. The worst that can happen is for you to dislike the experience and give up after a while. If you do like it, their membership is $14.95/month and gives you 30 days of membership free, plus 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals to get you started.
The Audible membership may not be the best option though, and they have a new option now called Audible Escape which is a kind of Kindle Unlimited program and that allows you to listen to as many books as you’de like for $12.95/month. The cool thing is that if you also have Kindle Unlimited then the value decreases to $6.95/month. This is the one I use because I do listen to more then one audiobook per month, so if you are like me, this may be the best option.
If you don’t think these programs are for you, then maybe you will like to know that if you already own an ebook copy of a book, you may get the audiobook for a reduced price, so that may be an option if you want to listen to just one title every two months or even less.
Now, if all this has not convinced you, there is nothing else I can say, I guess Audiobooks are just not your thing. They are mine, so I’ll be coming back soon with some audible reviews using my new Bennet sister scale 🙂
Until then, Happy Readings everyone!