On the Merit of Audiobooks

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I imagine that pretty much anyone interested in reading a blog that primarily talks about books is familiar with goodreads. I love goodreads and am on my third reading challenge! I especially love that I can make detailed to read lists and keep a log of what I’m reading, while also seeing what others are interested in. Another fun feature of goodreads is the poll. Which is where this post comes in. I’ve embedded the poll that I just did because I was truly shocked at how few people have any love for the audiobook! (click and see!)

https://www.goodreads.com/poll/widget/112460-what-format-do-you-prefer-to-read-in

So, I wanted to do a quick summary of the reasons I have become a convert to audiobooks.

  1. You can listen to it while commuting to work (or school) (or anywhere really)
  2. You can listen to it in the bath
  3. You can listen to it while doing dishes/ironing/sewing/cleaning.
  4. It adds a certain liveliness to the text
  5. You can borrow from a library – either as CD files or as a file download (I use OverDrive)
  6. Your eyes don’t need to be open

So I’ve realized that most of those options basically boil down to multitasking! But it really does make long trips fly by, housework seem less tedious, and free up all but your ears for being productive or creative!

The reason I avoided audio books for so long was that I simply consider myself bad at listening! I was terrible on listening comprehension tests and I just decided as a result that I’m not good at taking in information that way. But, that was when I was a kid and now, while I might get distracted and have to rewind a few seconds (or minutes) I can sit and absorb and imagine while listening. It’s probably even improving my listening skills! I know my limits though – I can’t listen very well while marking school work or reading anything else really. It has to be a different part of the brain for multitasking!

I’ve been known to sit in my car in the carpark at work or driveway outside my house just to hear one more chapter! I listened to a number of audiobooks while I made a quilt a year or two ago, and the audiobook for Outlander by Diana Gabaldon got me through numerous flights around Europe this summer! Sometimes if I can’t sleep I listen to an audiobook until I nod off.

So, if I have got you in any way intrigued, where should you start?

First off, I’d suggest an audible trial. You use your amazon login and you get two free downloads before you have to start paying. You can listen to little samples to check if you hate their voice or love it (I spend a ridiculous amount of time doing this), and you can get a free swap in if you  don’t like it (although I haven’t yet had to do this). You can listen to this on your phone or a computer.

Secondly, I’d recommend seeing what your library has on offer. Depending on what systems they use, you may need to download an app on your phone to listen, or some may offer listening in your browser. Auckland Libraries uses an app called OverDrive which allows you to browse, download, and listen on your phone – all you need is your library card number!

Thirdly, look for CD audiobooks. These can be bought in most bookshops and some libraries have a nice selection. It’s like the audio equivalent to a hardcopy book and is good for if your car has a CD player. I also think it’s nice to invest in any good ones if you want to have it for your children to put on for themselves without needing their own little computer or smartphone. I know that the Harry Potter Audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry are often high on recommendation lists! Once a classic, always a classic.

In conclusion, the humble audiobook has a lot to offer you in your busy life. Let the smooth tones of storytellers take your mind away from your reality and don’t feel guilty about indulging in some reading time when you have dishes to do and commutes to endure. What’s stopping you?

If you have any suggestions of why YOU love audiobooks or questions on how to get started please leave a comment!

 

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Beka Bee Books October Book Photo Challenge

Bekabeebooks october book challenge

Happy Friday friends! I am posting this in advance because I am SO excited! This October I am hosting a book photo challenge! If you’re on instagram or tumblr or twitter you may find it easier on there, but wordpress is also a great place for posting photos. I’d love any of you to participate – just use the tag #bekabeeoctoberreads and please tag or mention bekabeebooks!

I have designed the challenge to be mostly easy and fun but also hopefully to remind you to try new things – like reading a new genre –  and to go new places – like your local library or bookstore. Of course most of you probably do stuff like that anyway but it’s great to share and promote!

Happy book snapping!

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Eleanor and Park is an adorable romance. Eleanor is new in town and has just been welcomed back into her family after being kicked out by her creepy step-dad a year earlier. Park has a fairly decent spot on the social ladder in the school bus and isn’t prepared to lose any of his privileges of being not hassled. But Eleanor has to sit somewhere. And Park isn’t completely heartless…. so he swears at her and lets her sit down, just to keep it balanced. It all starts with the comic books. He realizes that she’s reading them over his shoulder. Then she realizes he’s waiting for her at the end of each page. With tiny steps like these, Eleanor and Park slowly fall in love. Continue reading

Lost and Found by Brooke Davis

DSC01048Lost and Found is a quirky tale of loss, grief and adventure and is the debut novel of Australian writer Brooke Davis.

The Story:
Seven year old Millie Bird was curious about Dead Things even before her dad died. She kept a book of them. When Millie’s dad dies her mother struggles to cope. Before long Millie finds herself spending far too long waiting for her mum at the department store. Hours turn to days. She befriends an old man, Karl the Touch Typist, who gives her some food and drink. Karl too has lost someone.

Karl and Millie end up on the run from the store security guard and when Millie still can’t find her mum her escape soon becomes a mission to find Millie’s mum. She is joined on this mission by Agatha Panther, the old widow next door who yells everything and hasn’t left her house since the death of her husband. Continue reading

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of GlassI have been on a big reading buzz lately and out of all the books I have read this month, Throne of Glass is the standout. It is a fantasy novel, the first in a series, and our heroine is Celaena Sardothien, the infamous Adarlan’s Assassin, the killer who was caught. This is by far my favourite book of this year!

Story Overview
We meet Celaena in her prison,  the mines of Endovier. The day we meet her is special. It is the day she gets out. The crown prince himself has come to invite her compete to become the King’s personal assassin and, if successful, earn her freedom. A chance of survival is not to be sniffed at and Celaena Sardothien is whisked into a world of obscene luxury and castle intrigues as she competes in the competition while posing as a noble lady in the giant glass castle from which the royals rule this kingdom. Continue reading

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The ‘To-Read’ Pile

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Almost every weekend I like to pop in to the second hand stores near my house and scour the book selection. The result is an ever-growing pile of books which I somehow struggle to get to.  All these books are second hand and just waiting to be read! I usually buy things I know are well recommended or by someone I have enjoyed reading before. Despite this I am finding that this pile is neglected, especially when I have new books from the book store or arriving in the mail!

Does anyone else have this problem?

How do you choose what to read next?

The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky

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I read Chobsky’s The Perks of being a Wallflower a few weeks ago. It’s a book that is quite popular with my students at the moment. There really is something very appealing about it. I have yet to see the movie (I’m a typical read-the-book-first kinda gal) but from what I’ve heard it’s good.

The story is made up of letters written by Charlie – a troubled teenager who is learning to ‘participate’ in life. He writes the letters to an unknown and unspecified recipient and as the reader you become that recipient which is a cool concept. Continue reading