Other Audiobook Week Discussions!

I really can’t take full credit for coming up with the list of discussion topics for Audiobook Week. I had some ideas, sure, but I turned to a few trusty blogger friends who I know also enjoy audiobooks and asked for suggestions.

Boy, did they ever come through!

Thanks to my informal consultation group, we came up with far more topics than I could ever possibly discuss in a week, so I told them that they were free to take one of the discussions if they wished to do so and host it on their own blogs. So that you can easily join in, here are the Audiobook Week discussions going on elsewhere around the blogosphere:

Do Sound Effects and Music Enhance the Audiobook Experience at She Is Too Fond of Books

National Audiobook Month: Narrators at Jen’s Book Thoughts

5 Reasons I Keep Coming Back to Audiobooks at Linus’s Blanket

Audiobook Week: Getting Started, Genres, Favorites at Beth Fish Reads

I also wanted to feature Alison from Alison’s Book Marks’ Audiobook Week post, because she actually listened to an audiobook for the first time in honor of Audiobook Week. See what she has to say about the experience:

Audiobook Week: Seven Lessons at Alison’s Book Marks

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How to Write an Audiobook Review – Audiobook Week Discussion

If you wrote a post on this or any of my other discussion topics today, Tuesday June 22nd, please leave your link in the Mr. Linky before midnight Central time (US) and you will be eligible to win a prize.

If you read my announcement post for Audiobook Week, you will know that a lot of the genesis of the idea came from the fact that I am not great at writing reviews of the audiobooks I listen to. Part of that is that, historically, most of my audiobooks have come from the library and my review record with library and TBR books isn’t always the best, because nobody is waiting for them. However, I think I have also not been entirely sure how to write an audiobook review.¬† Should I even tell people it was an audiobook? If so, should they know right away, or not until nearer the end? How would I differentiate between problems with the work of the author and problems with the work of the narrator?

Since I’m trying to be more purposeful about actually reviewing my audiobooks – no matter what source they come from – I’m trying to really get all of these questions figured out. My current¬† solution has been on show today and yesterday with my Audiobook Week reviews of “Leaving the Saints” and “So Cold The River.”

I’m not generally one to break my reviews into ‘summary,’ ‘opinion,’ ‘final thoughts,’ I like those things to sort of flow together a little bit. However, with the difficulty of trying to explain my opinions about both the content and execution of the book and the execution of the audio production, I have decided to break my audiobook reviews into four sections: synopsis; thoughts on the story; thoughts on the audio production; and overall.

I would love to get your feedback on how you think this new review style works for audiobooks!

Why Audiobooks? – Audiobook Week Discussion

If you wrote a post on this or any of my other discussion topics today, Monday June 21st, please leave your link in the Mr. Linky before midnight Central time (US) and you will be eligible to win a prize.

Okay, so why audiobooks? Why have I been spending so much time since I returned from BEA putting together and promoting this audiobook week?

I love audiobooks primarily because they help maximize my reading time. Before, time spent driving, knitting, washing dishes, folding clothes, straightening my hair, walking places, it was all wasted reading time. Now, though, I just stick my earbuds in my ears, and I can consume more books as I’m doing a whole variety of activities that don’t allow me to hold a book in front of my face. I actually wrote a guest post last week for Recorded Books about how it was exactly that I learned to love audiobooks. It did take some time when I started listening to train my brain to take in books that way, instead of visually.

Now, for the other question: why did I spend so much time putting this together and coaxing people into participation?

Well, sadly, there are still some audiobook haters out there (link goes to a discussion on LibraryThing). Honestly, when I listened to my first audiobook I wasn’t too sure about the whole experience either. I wondered whether it really counted as something I’d read (my husband didn’t think so), but as I’ve spent more time with audiobooks, I know that they count. Are they exactly the same as reading a book? No, but that doesn’t mean they are any more or less. They are an equally valid way of absorbing a story or learning something new. They may not work for everyone, but I think most people who have a hard time with them could probably retrain their brains fairly easily if they so desired.

If you don’t want to try audiobooks, that’s fine, whatever works for you. But I do want readers to know that audiobooks are fabulous, and are totally acceptable forms of reading. Plus, I want to celebrate all the fabulous audiobooks, narrators, publishers, and listener/readers out there who make audiobooks awesome!