* please note, this is not an advertisement and I'm not in any way affiliated or paid by Audible. This post is my own opinion as a reader.
I don't know about you, but I have a massive TBR pile (To Be Read for the uninitiated) . I am a prolific reader and with two young children, finding the time to get through all the wonderful books I want to read is becoming increasingly difficult. Watching the ever increasing piles of books without the chance to delve into them as often as I would like was starting to get my blood pressure levels rising. I couldn't allow it to continue so I came up with my own solution.
I would read my physical books, many of my beloved crime fiction genre are in there, when I found myself with some time on my own. A rare occurrence but completely blissful when it comes around. At night when everyone is asleep I would read my ebooks via my Kindle app on my phone so as not to disturb any light sleepers. When I was cooking or in the car or finding myself engaged in mind numbing domestic chores where I couldn't read, then I would use Audible to listen to books instead.
What I have found, now that I've put this in motion, is that my TBR piles have kept growing, but now in three different formats! I can't seem to stop collecting books. There. I've come out and said it. They are my 'Precious'es. My expensive addiction.
However they fill me with joy and with wonder, and allow me to escape an increasingly brutal, insane and scary reality…and now I can 'read' three books at once!
Audible has been my biggest surprise. I always was a bit of a reading snob. 'If you're not reading then you haven't actually read the book'. My ignorance has been eradicated, thankfully. I've found listening to audiobooks to be an immense pleasure- if you find the right story, and crucially, the right narrator. There have been some stories where the narrator has been so terrible, that I've had to give up on what shouldn't been a fantastic book. So those books have ended up on the digital or physical books TBR pile. Whilst other narrators have made stories that could have otherwise been thought of as mediocre, into true treasures.
Then there are those narrators that become the character. They are so right for it and make the book shine so much you can't imagine anyone else's voice ever reading it, and when you do read the books, it's the narrators voice from the audio version you here. A really fine example of this is from a series of British books called the Chronicles of St Mary's by Jodi Taylor. Fantastical, hilarious, dramatic, stories in their own right, written well, with wit and care, but paired with the excellent narrator, Zara Ramm, they transcend the written word, making it the most glorious listening experience. Zara is Max, the main character, to me. Her wit, intonation and accent are pitched perfectly for the protagonist. I raise my glass of wine in appreciation to her. If you like a bit of fun mixed in with your drama, and cross genre novels that span adventure, crime, time travel, historic fiction, romance, then I heartily recommend these audiobooks.
I'm now reading ( well, listening to), another fantastic series, this one more serious, in the High Fantasy genre. Written by Sarah J Maas the Throne of Glass series is so far thrilling and escapism at its best. The protagonist, 18 year old Celaena Sardothien, is a very strong female character (yay!) , brought up as an assassin in fact, who is then imprisoned. The story begins as she finds her freedom by winning a very deadly contest to become the King's Champion. Once again, the narrator does the story justice and adds another level of enjoyment to the 'reading' experience.
The element I enjoy most about the audio experience, is that it's so easy to binge listen to a whole series if they're all on audiobook, because I found myself with more and more time being spent doing mind-numbing chores!
I've also discovered during the school holidays that we can listen to children's stories whilst colouring in and engaging in other quiet activities, which keeps the older one from getting too restless in the rainy weather.
Work? Well yes, I do it, but it's time away from my reading!
So, do you Audible?