Friday, February 26, 2016

Audio Books....just not feelin' it

I love old time radio and listen to podcasts on my smart phone all the time. I have a huge playlist of podcasts that download to my phone. All different kinds -- old radio, history, classic short stories, ghost stories, cooking, true crime, fitness, legends, etc. I listen while doing housework, soaking in the tub, browsing the internet, cooking dinner, in my car.....just about all the time. So you would think that someone who always has a podcast playing would really enjoy audio books. Right? But no....I'm not really feeling the joy. 

Years ago, when I used to travel for business, I would listen to books on tape for company on long drives. But now I work from home and just don't take long trips by myself anymore. When driving to the beach or Florida with the family, I'd rather talk to them or listen to music. I just can't pay attention to a book when there are other people with me. 

In the last month, I've tried 3 times to listen to audio versions of books I wanted to read. Twice it was books that weren't available at my local library but that I could borrow online in audio format. And once it was an enhanced audio version of an Agatha Christie novel. 

I find myself spacing off while listening, or getting distracted, and I have to back up and listen to portions over again. Or, for one selection, the problem was the narrator's voice. Her voice was nasally and irritating to me. 

Why is it I can listen to podcasts, but audio books drive me nuts? 

Maybe it's the difference in length? Most podcasts or old-time radio re-broadcasts I listen to are between 30 minutes and an hour. The shortest audio book I've tried so far was 5 hours long. The one I'm listening to now is 8 hours long. I have to listen in fits and starts, as I don't have large blocks of time to sit and just pay attention to the book being read. I have to listen while doing other things. While that is easy when listening to a podcast about history or an old radio comedy hour, it's harder when it's details in a book that require my actual attention. 

I did really enjoy the audio book by Carol Burnett that I listened to. But that was like having a conversation with Burnett. She was telling her stories about her career, her show and the friends she made while on television. I could listen to her talking about Harvey Korman and Tim Conway while doing the dishes, cooking dinner and going about my day. But it's harder to do that when listening to a murder mystery or other involved fiction story. 

Maybe I need to listen for 30 minutes or an hour right before bed when I'm not trying to get other work done and the house is relatively quiet. I will keep trying. There are many high-production, enhanced audio books I'd love to try! I'm not going to stop listening, but I'm going to work on finding a way to listen that works for me. Not giving up yet!

But, I will have to replace my headphones first. If you look closely at the dog chewed the plug off my headphones. sigh. :) 

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