This is the final installment of my audiobook experiment, and I thought I’d summarize my experiences. But first, if you’ve missed the previous four installments, here are the links if you want to catch up:
The Practical Stuff
During this experiment, I’ve listened to books on Storytel, Nextory, Scribd, and Audible. Storytel and Nextory are great because there’s no limit to how many books I can listen to. Scribd apparently makes books temporarily unavailable for me when they feel I’ve listened to too many, and Audible…Well, I signed up because one of the YouTubers I follow is sponsored by Audible and I got a free credit, so I thought why not? But seriously; 1 credit/month for $14.95? When I can listen to unlimited books every month for 169SEK (about $19) on Storytel? I don’t know if I’ll keep my Audible membership, but we’ll see 🙂
As I’m sure you’ve figured out if you’ve followed this blog series, I’m a convert! I’ve gone from Audiobooks, no thank you! to being a huge fan. The whole reason for me starting the experiment was that I need something to entertain me while I mow our new huge lawn, and audiobooks are going to be perfect for that. As a matter of fact, I love how I can listen to a book while doing chores; cooking has never been this much fun. Nor has cleaning or doing laundry. And I predict all garden work will be much more fun if I can listen to a good story.
But Nell, you said audiobooks are too sloooooooow!
I did, and it’s still true. I can finish a book much quicker when reading it with my eyeballs than when listening to it. But I can’t make dinner and eyeball-read, so this is a clear win for audiobooks. I’ve also tried speeding it up, but I don’t like it. I feel like a lot of the nuance of the narration is lost if I listen to it at a higher speed, and I don’t want that. A really great narrator adds so much to every sentence, and it feels disrespectful of me to not pay attention to their hard work.
Speaking of great narrators…
I hadn’t expected the importance of the narrator, how the narrator can make or break a book. Literally. I’ve listened to and enjoyed books I never would have read had it not been for the narrator. And I’ve listened to and not enjoyed books I’ve previously read and re-read several times that didn’t work for me in audio format because of the narrator. In one case I even deducted a star from my previous rating because of this. Whether you like a narrator or not is of course a personal preference, and I’ve read reviews bashing narrators I’ve loved, and I’ve read reviews glorifying narrators I don’t like, so really. Personal preference is the deciding factor when it comes to the narrator.
But these four gentlemen are my favorite narrators so far (in no particular order): Chris Chambers (managed to make me really like Ranch Daddy despite that I disliked the sample I downloaded), Teddy Hamilton (his narration of Deacon in Without You made me cry), Greg Boudreaux (I didn’t think I could love Invitation to the Blues more than I did when I read it, but Greg Boudreaux proved me wrong), and Kirt Graves (he slays me narrating Felix in Raze). 😍
Saving the best for last?
There’s one audiobook I’m really looking forward to listening to; The Remaking of Corbin Wale. I freaking adore this book (my review, in case you missed it), and when I saw that Chris Chambers narrates it, I gasped. Out loud. This must be good. Great even. The holy grail of audiobooks. A unicorn! So I’m saving it for a really awfully bad day when I need cheering up. No pressure or anything, audiobook version of Corbin Wale! 😀
The ones I haven’t talked about
I’ve also listened to these books, but they haven’t made it into my previous posts (except for Invitation to the Blues that I’ve mentioned). Strong Enough was the book mentioned above that got a star deducted from my rating. Evolved was peculiarly narrated, something that both fit the story and annoyed me a little. Born Again Sinner is one of those books I’d never have listened to had it not been for the narrators (Chris Chambers + southern drawl = 😍 ). I’ve also been on a Roan Parrish binge as you can see. I loved all three of her books below, even if there were too many pets in Better Than People (I couldn’t tell them apart!), and some of the music elements in Riven bugged me (as the wife of a musician). Invitation to the Blues was pure perfection, though, so listen to it if you haven’t already.
And that’s it for this audiobook experiment. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along as much as I’ve enjoyed conducting it. And if you listen to a really great book, feel free to recommend it to me anytime, even if this experiment is officially ended.
Nell Iris was wrong about audiobooks. Audiobooks are great. Nell Iris loves audiobooks. 🙂