My mother drives up to visit my family roughly every six weeks. It’s an 8-hour trip, but she passes the time by listening to audiobooks. She swears that she becomes so engrossed by her story, the trip passes quickly. Granted, she’s listening to mystery/thrillers (loves those spy stories), so I can imagine that the pacing and plots would pull her along.
I’ll admit, I’ve never listened to an entire audiobook. I think I might enjoy a non-fiction one because it would be like listening to a lecture (which I enjoy). But fiction? I don’t think so. I’ve tried listening to my own books, but can’t get beyond the second or third page because the narrator does not use the pace, tone, or emphasis that I had imagined when writing the story. It’s strange, actually, to hear the way someone else is interpreting my words and meaning with their own tone and twist. I can’t imagine how a screenwriter or playwright handles seeing their work come alive in sight and sound!
When it comes to reading, I prefer attaching the voices and inflections that I think match with the characters. I wouldn’t want to hear them through someone else’s lens (especially if it is a woman pretending to be a man, or visa versa). Maybe I’m just old-school, but it seems I’m destined to continue using my eyes instead of my ears when it comes to “reading.”
That said, it seems audiobooks are growing in popularity. So I’m curious, what’s your take? Do you like them, or not?