Stolen moments – tales from an audiobook fiend

In recent months, I’ve discovered a way to fill otherwise lackluster moments with snarky comebacks, intrigue and crisp accents.

Mindless tasks suddenly became opportunities. Getting a cup of coffee while listening via my headphones to an audiobook became my stolen moment, just two taps away from immersion.

Copyright © 2013 Ainat Bin Juran
My headphones. My coffee. My moment.

I relished each escape with the glee of the addicted.

I was moved to tears by Neil Gaiman’s narration of his own book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (he somehow managed to describe both the helplessness and hopefulness of childhood), and was thoroughly entertained by Wil Wheaton’s narration of John Scalzi’s Redshirts. Roy Dotrice lead me through George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice with his vast array of voices, breathing life into the characters in a way few can ever hope to achieve, and Craig Wasson kept me awake with his brilliant narration of Stephen King’s 11.22.63 — to name just a few.

As any true addict, I can recall the first time I ever heard a book being read aloud (by someone other than my parents). I was in second or third grade and the British librarian read to us from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in her crisp accent. I was hooked, and soon sought an outlet for my newfound hobby by subjecting my younger sister to my own narration of the various books we had. Before long, another avid listener was born. Cue witch-y cackle.

When I started writing my own books, I would ring her up and share my works through a myriad of mangled accents. My sister once again proved quite a sport.

Needless to say, it is a dream of mine to have my books professionally narrated. To a large extent because I wouldn’t want to subject anyone to the inconsistent cacophony of having me read aloud  — unless of course we are of close blood or marital relation (in which case, you’ve been listening to me speak for decades, and what are a few more paragraphs in the grand scheme of things?).
How about you? Are you a fellow audiobook fiend?
Do you happen to have a recommendation for my next great listen? If so, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

2 thoughts on “Stolen moments – tales from an audiobook fiend

  1. Edan Maor says:

    Hi! I am exactly the same – I listen to audiobooks constantly.

    I have a few tricks – firstly, I subscribe to Audible, and get my audiobooks from there. They have a new partnership with “The Great Courses”, which offers basically a university-level course, taught by an actual professor, as an audiobook. So if you like learning history, you can get a professor of history to teach it to you while you’re drinking your coffee. Prefer music? There are excellent courses on music appreciation, including listening to the actual music!

    Another thing I do is listen to everything through the Audible app, so I can listen to things at a higher listening speed. With some practice, you can listen to things at 2X or even 3X speed, meaning you can hear more books. It also makes the slower narrators much funner to listen to, believe me! 🙂

    A third trick I have – I have Bluetooth Stereo headphones, which means I have headphones that I don’t need to connect to my phone to listen. This saves a LOT of time when deciding to listen to a book, which means I’m much more likely to start listening if I have a quick 10 minute walk to somewhere. No more fiddling around with cables. Note that you need bluetooth headphones that know how to play music – not all of them do.

    • Hello!
      I absolutely adore Audible. Their ‘Daily Deals’ are slowly draining my bank account.
      I’ve been using iTunes U, which offers a wide range of free courses, but have yet to try Audible’s ‘Great Courses.’ Is there any one in particular that caught your attention?
      Thanks for your great suggestions by the way, I will definitely try them out.

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