Reading… Aurally

There was a cheap book sale last week and I picked up an audio book for RM5: Jilly Cooper’s The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, read by Samuel West. I have the book itself, but I thought since it was such a steal at RM5 I might as well get it and give audio books a go.

This is my first time listening to a book. I have not finished listening to it obviously, for if you know this book you’d know that it’s about 800+ pages! Thus far, my opinion is that listening to books pales in comparison to reading it.

To be fair, though, I have not been listening to books as long as I have been reading them, so perhaps I am not accustomed to books being read to me. As a child, my parents did not read books to me either, contrary to popular belief that reading to kids will help them cultivate a reading habit. I mean, well, I do think reading to your children might make them more likely readers as adults, but I’m saying that I was an exception to the rule.

Anyway, what is it like for me to listen to a book?

1. I’m not comfortable with a male reading chick lit. Whenever I read my books, or even writing blog posts, I hear my own voice in my head as I read or type the words. I suppose I couldn’t be hearing my own voice in that audio book 😆 but I would think a female voice might be more suitable for a chick lit. Just my personal preference, I think.

2. Since this is my first audio book, I cannot gauge what voice makes for good reading. Samuel West has a deep, smooth voice which is quite animated. When the characters are *ahem* making love, he would intonate to that err, amorous effect as well. I blushed hearing the sexy bits read out loud! 😳 I guess what I’m saying is I don’t know if Samuel West is a good reader. He does sound impressive, but I do not like a male voice reading chick lit nonetheless.

3. It has been difficult for me to imagine while listening to a book. I’m currently listening to the audio book in the car. I figured it would make rush hour driving a bit more bearable and indeed, I have been staying in the car slightly more than usual because I’m listening to this book. But I digress. I find it hard to imagine because the reader is reading the next sentence while I’m still digesting the previous sentence. When I read a book, I am free to speed up or slow down as I wish. I can skip over parts I don’t want to imagine or take my time imagining a scenario. Because of this, I have a fuzzy picture of what’s going on in the book, even though I have read it before. Then again, driving requires some concentration on my part too which I cannot devote to listening.

Anybody want to share their audio book experiences with me? I am keen to hear from people who love to listen to books. I’m thinking this could be a whole new genre opened up to me if I can embrace it in time. I can read twice as many books if so!! 😀


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Cat
    May 06, 2009 @ 00:23:09

    I have listened to several audiobooks before and it’s been different for each. In fact, i’ve been meaning to make a blog post about that..

    I can’t listen to them when I’m doing something else that requires thinking though. I listen to audio books when I’m on the bus or travelling and when i’m opening the cafe at the moment which just involves giving it a quick clean through.

    Can’t comment on men vs women as I’ve only listened to male narrators. Actually, thaqt’s not true, I did listen to Sense and Sensibility read by a woman, but it was someone with such an overly American accent I couldn’t listen more than a couple of minutes.

    nylusmilk: yeah, i don’t think i can get away with listening to another audio book in the car next time, if it’s of a title i have not read before. when i travel i’m too excited to read or listen a book! 😳

    i checked back at the cover of the audio book, apparently samuel west is a good and highly sought-after reader. i am keen to find a female reader the equivalent of that now to see the difference!


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