Listening to an Audiobook VS Reading a Book

It doesn’t count if you haven’t actually read it though… That’s an argument I’ve heard about audiobooks. Well, I don’t agree with that. I think listening to an audiobook vs reading a book really just depends on the person, and as long as you’re reading, who cares how?

Trying Audiobooks

I recently ‘bought’ a couple of audiobooks from Audible. Well, I had a couple of free credits to use thanks to online shopping… It took me ages to choose what to get because I’ve always been worried about the narrator. Now I’ve listened to the Harry Potter audiobooks countless times, and I love them. You get to immerse yourself in the world without really having to think about it.

The main worry I had was, would I be able to follow a brand new book through listening to the audio rather than reading the pages? I wasn’t so sure to be honest. If I’m listening to music or podcasts with headphones, my mind does sometimes wander. I’ll find myself thinking about a completely random topic and have to rewind a little if I am listening to a podcast. I don’t really like doing just one thing. Anyway, I decided on a fiction book and a non-fiction book, thinking that if one didn’t work, then at least I had something different to try out.


Fiction – Queen of Shadows

I’d just finished Heir of Fire and was dying to get my hands on the next book. Not wanting to really spend the money, I figured I’d try the audiobook version with my credit to see if I could get on with it. You’ll notice that I’m up to chapter 29… Pretty good going then? Well surprisingly I’m not entirely sure I really like the audiobook version. I feel like I know what’s going on, but I also feel like I’ve missed stuff. The chapters in this book have alternate POV occasionally, and I didn’t always realise immediately. Also, Chaol… I did not connect him to the pronunciation and for a good few chapters I thought he was a new character. How? I don’t even know. I’ve realised that I should just buy the book and start again, so I won’t be carrying this audiobook on.

Non Fiction

Non-Fiction – Running Like a Girl

Wanting to get back into running, I decided that this memoir would be a great motivator. Almost immediately I felt the difference listening to this one. It was easy to follow and it felt like a conversation. Similar to that of a podcast. Alexandra is narrating it herself, so you really do feel like you’re getting her story. Running Like a Girl is also hilarious and has had me giggling to myself on public transport a few times… Also, listening to someone talking about running and their experiences is so motivating when you’re actually doing a run. I’m still listening to this one, and I’ll definitely finish it off. I think I’d actually prefer to listen to a memoir style book rather than read, as you feel like you really get to know the person when they’re actually talking to you.

So yeah for me, listening to a new fiction book just isn’t the way to go. Maybe fantasy wasn’t the best one to try out – I’m sure something like a romance would be a lot easier to follow – but I just couldn’t concentrate enough. Listening to a memoir is easier because you don’t have to put as much effort into remembering things. I’m sure I can only follow the HP audiobooks so easily because I’ve read the books so many times…

I’ve always thought that once I can drive and have my own car, I’d try listening to audiobooks to get some reading done. Now, I’m not so sure I can listen and concentrate on driving! I’m sure my mind would wander far too easily for that. So in the future I think I’ll be sticking to paperbacks for all my fiction reads… But would definitely try another memoir style audiobook!

Have you tried audiobooks?


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