Random Rants and Rambling #33 | Physical Books vs Audio Books

Hello, hello!

It’s been some time (3 weeks) since my last Random Rants post so I am excited to ramble again!

Anyway.

I am sure you have seen discussions on eBook vs physical book but I wanted to talk about the difference between reading a physical book (in any format) vs audio!

I love audiobooks. I have a long commute to work and back and I would MUCH rather listen to an audio over the radio any day. I have listened to my fair share of audios and I can gauge what books will be good based on what I like, the narrator etc.

One would think that there isn’t THAT big of a difference listening to an audio over reading the book. However, the narrator can make or break a book. I don’t run into many MEH narrators, either. Sometimes, the narrator can capture the characters feelings so perfectly that I am drawn in or it’s the narrator that has be continuing the story. Other times? I don’t care for the narrator at all and their portrayal of the character kills it for me.

Not only that, you have to consider if there are any EXTRAS in the book. Drawings? Maps? Visuals are nice to have sometimes. Also, some books are just don’t translate well to audio. I have issues with anything with a prophecy, mysteries and some fantasy’s.

So I made a list and talk about what books I have enjoyed BECAUSE I listened to the audio – and a list that I think I would have enjoyed MORE had I read the book!

Books I believe I enjoyed more because I “read” on Audio

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  • The Dark Unwinding was such a fun historical novel with steam punk elements. I honestly believe that I loved this one so much because of how well Fiona Hardingham brought all the characters to life. Uncle Tully is the BEST.
  • The Secrets We Keep was narrated by my FAVORITE narrator Kate Rudd. She is the only narrator that can pull of both YA and Adult. Not only that, she is amazing at expressing the characters emotions. In this case – she changed her voice just the slightest bit so we are able to tell the twins apart. I think I would have been lost, otherwise.
  • Torn Away is one of few books that had me UGLY crying. Again, because of the narrator’s ability to express the main characters emotions. This book is emotional anyway – but man. Listening to it is a whole new ball game.
  • Under Different Stars …. *heavy sigh* Honestly, I forced myself to finish this one. Had there been another narrator, I probably wouldn’t have made it far, let alone finish it. I know without a doubt, had I read this, I would have thrown the book and never looked back.
  • From a Distant Star I have similar thoughts to this one as I do Under Different Stars. I do think I would have finished had I not been listening to the book

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Books I believe I would have enjoyed more, had I read them

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  • Between the Lines has such an interest premise. Have you ever read a YA though that feels…. TOO YA? I mean, I know a lot of adults love YA but I believe this would be well liked by the younger crowd. And the narrator’s voice was high-pitched and irritating, to be honest. Yet she was perfect for the character. Another note – I desperately want to see the drawings in the book.
  • The Conspiracy of Us. I enjoyed this one a lot – but it was confusing at times. I would have had a better connection to the story had I read it. And hello, PROPHECY.
  • Confess is actually one of my favorite books read this year – but I picked it up and found ALL the artwork and was so bummed that I didn’t get to SEE it when I was reading.
  • The Winner’s Curse. Let me give it to you straight. The narrator has THE MOST irritating voice, ever. It’s gruff and shaky and kind of horny sounding. (Thanks A LOT Nereyda).

Tell Me Your Thoughts

  • Do you listen to Audio Books? If so, how often?
  • Do you ever believe you would have enjoyed a book more had you read it instead? 

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22 thoughts on “Random Rants and Rambling #33 | Physical Books vs Audio Books

  1. Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    I used to listen to audiobooks alot when I was exercising like crazy before my knee and since then I haven’t really been listening. Mainly, I try to listen at the gym but it’s still not enough time. I really like audiobooks and I agree. For example, I LOVED listening to The Prisoner of Night and Fog on audio! I thought the narrator was PERFECT so while I’m not sure if I would have liked it MORE per say, I am glad I did it that way.

    I also agree with audiobooks that I would have liked better as books. For example. I tried listening to Rebel Belle and couldn’t do it. The narrator sounded too old and her southern accent was beyond fake. LOL.
    Jessica@Lovin’ Los Libros recently posted…Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle KennedyMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      It’s starting to get hard for me to listen to audios anywhere else BUT the car. I can do it, but it all depends on what I am doing.

      I hate fake accents so much! LOL

  2. Jenna @JinkiesBooks

    I don’t like “reading” audiobooks. I get way to distracted with the outside world, especially if it’s the first time through that book. However, for a while I worked in a factory and with the monotonous work I enjoyed podcasts and sometimes (rarely) audiobooks. The one I really liked was Nineteen minutes. The narrator was actually really good.
    Jenna @JinkiesBooks recently posted…Discussion: Sequel CoversMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I don’t think audiobooks are for everyone. It’s really hard to start listening and NOT get distracted. I was like this, too!

  3. Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons

    I listen to more books than I read. I’m able to listen while I’m at work, so that adds even more listening time. I have listened to books where I’ve liked the narrator, but they just didn’t fit with the story, like a story that is really dark that has a narrator that isn’t gritty enough to go with it. I am willing to listen to books even if I’m not a huge fan of the narrator because I just have more time to read that way. Great topic.

    Some of my favorite series on audio include (you can tell, I’m a fan of paranormal):
    Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane narrated by Bahni Turpin
    Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews narrated by Renee Raudman
    Charley Davidson by Darynda Jones narrated by Lorelei King
    Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole narrated by Robert Petkoff
    Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs narrated by Lorelei King
    White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland narrated by Allison McLemore

    Some of my favorite stand alone books
    The Martian by Andy Weir narrated R.C. Bray
    Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta narrated by Robert Petkoff
    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted…Hunted Warrior Audiobook by Lindsey Piper (REVIEW)My Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I am picky about narrators. Most of the time, i will listen to a sample and if I can’t stand their voice for those 2 minutes, I don’t get it. BUT. I do take into consideration the genre too.

      I loved reading the kate daniels series and I have heard that they’re good on audio! Thank you for the other recs!

  4. Nick @ Nick\'s Book Blog

    The narrators make or break a book for me. These days, I actually think I enjoy books more when I listen to the audiobooks. There are some books like The Conspiracy of Us that I’m pretty sure I would have disliked it had I read it. I completely agree that there are some books that don’t translate well in audio. That would definitely be fantasy books for me. I can’t follow the complex world building so I much prefer reading them.
    Great post!
    Nick @ Nick\’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue by Sophie JordanMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read it, because there were times when it was so confusing! lol

  5. Jennifer

    I’m a BIG audiobook junkie. And yes some books are better on audio while others I would rather read.

    Here’s some audio ONLY series for me but I don’t think I would enjoy them as much if I read them.

    Charley Davidson by Darynda Jones narrated by Lorelei King
    White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland narrated by Allison McLemore
    *Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane narrated by Bahni Turpin
    *Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole narrated by Robert Petkoff
    Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews narrated by Renee Raudman
    Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam
    Molly Harper (any book) narrated by Amanda Ronconi

    I will pass up an ARC to wait for the audio on these series because I enjoy the narration so much.

    *I’ve read at least 1 book and it was good but it’s better on audio because the narrator is so awesome.
    Jennifer recently posted…Audio Review: Love After All by Jaci BurtonMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      Yes, we have had many discussion about audios!

      HAHA Charley, I don’t know if I could have listened to that one. The narrator would have to be perfect (in my eyes) for her personality!

  6. Wendy @ Book Scents

    I completely agree! I got so frustrated listening to conspiracy of us! I got the groups mixed up and then I was just like wtf is going on.. haha. I’m glad I decided to read the second half. I followed things a lot better but I didn’t end up liking it too much anyway so it was probably doubly worse that I started it on audio. I LOVED a dark unwinding on audio! I got so sad after a spark unwinding knowing that it was over! :/ and yeah, when the narrator is good it just makes the book so much better. I think I enjoyed prisoner of night and fog a lot more than I would’ve had I read it.
    Wendy @ Book Scents recently posted…Mini Reviews (1): Audiobook editionMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I think I did too (Prisoner of night and fog). It wasn’t my favorite anyway but I still really liked it.

      Also, Sweet Evil. *laughs at your expense*

  7. Chrissi Reads

    This is a really interesting post! I don’t really ‘read’ audiobooks, because I haven’t found one yet that completely captured my attention. I tend to get really distracted if I’m listening to a story. Perhaps I just haven’t found the one for me yet.

  8. Terri M. the Director

    I started listening to audiobooks actively in just the last couple of years. I find I can only listen while I drive otherwise I space off and stop listening.

    My favorites: Code Name Verity, The Night Circus and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

    The SYNC audiobook program during the summer months has been great for me. 2 free YA books every week (one new book + one classic). Saves a ton of cash. I don’t often check audiobooks out of the library. My total commute is only 40 minutes so it can take me months to finish a single books.
    Terri M. the Director recently posted…In the Spotlight: Oliver Sparrow on the World of Dark Sun, Bright MoonMy Profile

  9. Nereyda Gonzalez

    I’m the opposite, I prefer Fantasy on audio even though I don’t think most do. I struggle reading it so this is better for me. There are definitely books I have enjoyed more simply because the audio/narrator was good. And yes, a terrible narrator can ruin even your favorite books. I tried listening to Rival on audio and cringed though chapters one and two and returned it.
    OMG! I have this visual of Justine Eyre recording audiobooks in bed, right after sex and smocking on a cigarette. I just can’t picture her any other way with that voice. 😉
    Nereyda Gonzalez recently posted…Reviews: The Night We Said Yes/Cinder & EllaMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I think it’s because I am able to picture the world better when reading over listening. if that makes sense.

      About Justine — RIGHT? I can’t get over them picking her to narrate that series LOL

    1. tonyalee

      I didn’t even know the art was there anyway, so it’s not like I missed anything, per se. But after finishing and then seeing the art, I was like WHAT ? LOL

  10. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    I’ve never listened to an audio book. >.< I like being able to go at my own speed – so I can read really fast if I want, or I can slow down and go back and re-read passages if need be. Plus I worry I'd start daydreaming and not pay attention if I'm only listening.
    BUT I do want to try listening to a book I've already read – leaning toward The Scorpio Races, the Lunar Chronicles, or The Lumatere Chronicles. They're all books I want to reread but haven't had the time.
    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted…Summer of Series: Amy Engel Interview + Giveaway!My Profile

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