I have a love hate relationship with audiobooks. They’re amazing for when I’m bored out of my mind, traveling long distances or playing mindless games on my phone. However, I don’t do any of those things very often.
Which means that for me to truly enjoy audiobooks and not just listen to them when I don’t have anything else to do, they need to have a certain something. It’s all very good and well, carrying something out to its completion. It’s an entirely different thing to enjoy what you are doing. So, here we are, a post about the things that actually allow me to enjoy audiobooks. I hope that you don’t get too bored.
ADD A SPRINKLE OF NARRATORS
Seeing as how the entire concept of an audiobook is listening to someone else read the story for you, having a nice voice is paramount. I don’t want to hear a posh 30-year-old old woman playing the part of a young country girl. The narrator can, in reality, be a posh 30-year-old but I don’t want to hear that when I’m listening to my story! Speaking in an accent that doesn’t match up with the book can be extremely distracting to me – especially when the character’s voice is specifically mentioned within the book. If the character is Spanish, don’t use a South African accent!
Mumbling, slurring or grating voices also get on my nerves. This might be a little selfish, or perhaps even a little rude, but I honestly can’t concentrate when a voice makes me cringe. What’s even worse, is when the narrators have no ups or downs in their tone, no expression, and no enthusiasm. The book may be beautifully written, but when every sentence is said in the same, monotonous tone of voice – listeners will miss that completely. Or, at least, I will.
HIGH RISE HAS AN AMAZING NARRATOR (TOM HIDDLESTON)
ADD A CUP OF CHAPTERS
Chapters are an absolute must for me. I know that all audiobooks have them, but some break them down into one-hour chunks which really, aren’t very helpful. I know that it’s not the audiobooks fault and that its the book itself from which they generally get their cues from but it would be nice if it was sorted out a little better.
BAKE THE AUDIOBOOK FOR 1 HOUR
This is a reference to audiobook length. For some reason, and I know that this is a little bit stupid, I seem to prefer short audiobooks. Maybe it’s because my attention gets stolen so easily, or because listening to anyone for hours on end very quickly becomes boring, but whatever it is – the shorter the better. I enjoy short physical books as well, but they seem to lack substance. I think the different expressions and tones of voice might help to pick up that slack.
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY IS A BRILLIANT LENGTH
STIR IN A STORY
Of course, having a decent plot that actually translates well into audio is a must. It might seem a little bit odd that this is a point, but I have heard countless claims that Sleeping Giants sounds innumerable better in an audiobook than it does when you’re reading it. Nevernight, and this is probably a personal preference, reads a lot better than when you listen to it. No doubt a feat that can be attributed to the presence of footnotes that the book contains. There is no issue about whether it is a story or not, it’s just the idea that some things don’t translate very well into different mediums.
What do you think makes the perfect audiobook?