Saturday, October 10, 2009

In Your Ears (Or Not)

I like audiobooks. No, really I do.

I've been trying to get my hands (ears?) on some so that I can actually do house work. I'm not talented enough to keep my eyes on a page and my hands on my work. But, it seems like the cosmic forces of the universe are trying to keep me from listening to a book.

Problem 1: I don't like listening to books with lots of swearing.

When I'm reading a book, I can skip over or fudge past the swear words, but in an audio, all I can do is listen. I don't want to hear lots of swearing. If I did, I'd head back to high school. So, I'm uncomfortable listening to certain types of books. This obviously limits my choices. Which weren't that broad in the first place (I get them from my rather limited library's selection).

Problem 2: I prefer not to check them out on CD or tape.

While I'm working around the house, my husband is usually doing homework. This makes it not very practical to have a book blaring through the house while he's trying to concentrate. But, I also don't want to haul around a portable CD or tape player. Fortunately, through our library system, we can check out and download audiobooks online (in several types of formats), which leads me to:

Problem 3: My computer and (rather outdated) mp3 player revolt against these downloaded books.

This is the most aggravating problem. I was trying to use the software that must be downloaded to listen to the books (which is its own annoying issue) and it wasn't recognizing the books I'd downloaded. That's a problem when the software that you have to have doesn't recognize the books it's designed to recognize. Sigh. It also would not load onto my mp3 player.

Eventually, we were able to work this out (after much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth), but I started to think I was not supposed to listen to audiobooks. And I started to not want to.

Here are my questions:

Am I just dealing with problems specific to me and my equipment?

Do you ever run into technical difficulties with your audiobooks?

Does it turn you off from listening to books if it isn't easy?


  1. All these reasons you list are the very things that stop me from audiobooks. I can see the advantage of being able to multi-task though, read/listen to a book while cleaning, or quilting, or scrapbooking sounds great. But I'm also afraid I would miss stuff, fade out, drift off, something.

    But I've never had the inclination to figure out my Ipod and audiobooks, and I too would be very bugged by the "out loud" swearing.

  2. I've never been really big into audiobooks. I get so much out of the printed page. I suppose I'm visual. I like actually seeing the words that I'm reading, or I don't feel I've fully experienced the book somehow.
    Regardless, I've really been thinking recently that I'd like to get into listening to audiobooks more frequently, especially while working out or doing housework like you. Luckily, my public library has a pretty good-sized collection of 'playaways' which are self-contained and don't need to be loaded onto any external player. I'm going to try to stick to those for now and see how I feel about them...

  3. Suey, I admit it is really frustrating. I do like the convenience though. I know that I tend to "drift off" sometimes, but also I think sometimes I get a little more atmosphere out of it - inflections in voices, etc. While I may miss some words, it's hard to miss what happens.

    Bookshelf Monstrosity, I am very visual too. I guess it is just a different way to experience books. I definitely think I get more by reading. I don't think my library has playaways, but I really wish they would get some! That might solve all my problems.

  4. Part of my problem is the kids are too noisy for me to pay attention.

    I also had the problem with loading to my ipod. This is what I'd do. I would upload the discs to my computer, then sync them to my ipod. Before I could do that I tried to renumber them so they all went in order, but it took forever, and for some reason I lost tracks doing it that way. So I pretty much hate that method.

    The Playaways are the best way I think. I know my library doesn't have that many, and they are pretty expensive to buy. You can sign up for a rental service though that works kind of the same way netflix does for movies. It is a certain fee every month and they send you one in the mail. After you send it back you get another one.

  5. This time last year I was definitely on the "I'm not an audiobook type of person" side of the fence. Since then, things have changed drastically. I'd read a recommendation on another blog, and decided to give the audiobook format a try. I discovered to my great surprise that I was actually starting to look forward to cleaning up the kitchen and folding the laundry because it was my "me and my audiobook" time. I now also listen for about an hour before bed, and it's like being a kid again, and being read to, only by a parent who's a very good dramatic reader!

    I'm currently listening to the Harry Potter books in audio and they're really wonderful. I use iTunes and my iPod, and haven't been having any difficulties. I just discovered the Ontario Library Service download centre, so I'm hoping to make good use of that service, too!

  6. I'm not an audio book listener. I sometimes will get family-friendly ones for us when we make long drives, but ever since we got a DVD player for the car, that's fallen by the wayside. Some of it is language and technology, but a lot of it is that I like to hear things in my own head. I guess, with audio books, I'm the same way many people are with books-to-movies.

  7. Amy, that sounds terribly frustrating! I'm afraid if I tried to get an updated mp3, I would deal with even more issues. I'd really like to try playaways!

    Belle, I've found I really enjoy the ones with excellent narrators and it does make housework much more palatable. I adored the Harry Potter books, even though I had the tapes of them and they were very well used.

    Melissa, I think if you manage to get a really good narrator and an excellent story, you may be converted. Not wholly, but for certain occasions. I definitely won't be giving up my hard copies anytime soon.

  8. I adore audiobooks. I wouldn't get to read half as many books without them. I'm a little sorry to say that I've become a bit dependent on them now. As soon as the baby goes down for a nap I plop the 4 year old down in front of a movie with a snack and head off to clean the aparment for an hour and a half with my headphones on. I love it. But I have a couple of the same problems that you do. Particularly the foul language. I don't have so much trouble with the technical aspect, but I hate the fact that my library's online lending system doesn't have a very large selection. I've bought a couple of books through audible, but they're a bit pricey, and that's not the best option for me at the moment. As for transferring CDs onto your ipod, there is some freeware that you can download that combines all of the seperate tracks into one long, bookmarkable track, so that you don't have to deal with organizing tracks. It's quite nice. *ramble ramble*

  9. Aelysium, I think it almost makes cleaning enjoyable with an audiobook. I haven't purchased any before, mostly because of my budget, but I wouldn't know where to look anyway. I really am technically challenged in this area, which may contribute to my problems.


Love it when you comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © melissa of One Librarian's Book Reviews 2008-2015