01 October 2010

My Aversion to Audio Books--if you really want to know!

Now, please understand--I'm not above audio books. Just because they're not my thing doesn't mean I think they should be done away with. They certainly have a place in the literary world and if you're a fan of them, by all means, I'm glad you enjoy them and I hope they continue for you. But for me?

I don't like audio books. I've listened to more than a few while I sit working away on an edit job or driving to work, or when I'm doing something mindless at the day job. I've listened to Sense and Senseability, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, The Heart Shaped Box. I've listened to fiction and non-fiction. And I just don't like them.

Part of my enjoyment of a book is when I can find a character and become that character as I read. It helps me get truly involved with the story. The more I can do that, the more I can enjoy the book. It's great fun. But it's my voice I hear and I actually hear the others speak. I hear those voices and I know what they look like. I know them as if they were acquaintances and friends. Hearing someone else read those voices destroys the connection for me. Bothers me, really. So, that's one reason.

But as I've been enjoying a free podcast of Anne of Green Gables, the real reason suddenly dawned on me. The other is a bit of a minor issue. But the major issue is a bad reader.

This particular website is librivox.com. The readers are volunteers. So I really shouldn't be catty. But the truth is, volunteer or professional, a bad reader can just destroy the experience. Some of these readers mispronounce the words. They read in a flat voice. They try to "act" the characters when they really shouldn't. They have no clue about the story or the chapter. It ruins the things, and I can't focus on the story.

I'd rather wait and read a physical copy or an ecopy. I rather prefer them, thank you.

But, you'll notice that it doesn't stop me. I'm listening to the rest of Anne of Green Gables right now.

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