Reading or Listening?


I read a LOT of books, but I’ve never been big on listening to them. I know a lot of people, friends, bloggers, etc that prefer audio books, and I think it’s a great idea. I’ve just always been more of a reader than a listener. I want to change that a little this year. One of my reading goals this year is to listen to a few books. I’m not specifying an amount, I just want to give it a try.

I’ve never really given audio books a try, except for when my kids were little, we would listen to a few short stories from time to time. It started when one of them got a Junie B. Jones story on CD as toy prize in a kid’s meal years ago. They were both amazed that it was a story CD instead of music, and they LOVED it! So, from time to time (especially if the car ride would be long), we’d borrow some story CD’s from our local library.


For myself though, I’ve never been in the car long enough by myself to justify or to try to listen to a book on CD. I knew my local library had different audio options, but I didn’t give them a try. Like I said, I’m more of a reader (and a creature of habit), so I never thought much about it. I like reading books, so I just keep reading books. This year, I want to try some audios. I’m trying to exercise more, and usually I listen to music, but I should be able to listen to a book. And when I’m doing stuff around the house, I always have either music or the television on, so I should be able to listen to a book instead.

My local library uses Overdrive, so I don’t have to worry about CD’s or anything like that – I can download the app to my iphone and/or Kindle, log into my local library database, and “check out” audios without having to leave my house. For FREE!!! It’s such a great idea, and I really need to take advantage of it!! I knew the program existed, but I didn’t realize how easy it was, so I didn’t want take time for it. I’m going to now, though!


I’m not giving up reading books – physical or ebooks, but I just wanted to give audios a try. It’s my way of trying something new and getting out of my comfort zone a little. I going to try it a few times this year and see how I do. If I find myself not paying as much attention or having a hard time following along with the audios, then at least I gave it a try.

So, what about you — do you prefer reading or listening? If you’re a fan of audio books, what programs or apps do you use? Are there fees? What are your likes & dislikes about audio books? Any favorite narrators?





  1. says

    Last year I tried listening to audiobooks but I was forcing myself to listen to them and that was bad. This year, I started with Hopeless by CoHo and loved it! Now, I’m listening to Burying Water and I am liking it so far. I tried listening to Black Ice and I gave up. The narrator’s voice was neutral and konotone and I just couldn’t get into it. What I’m saying is, always listen to a sample first, just in case the voices don’t really click with you. If you aren’t used to audiobooks, do what I did with Hopeless. I bought the kindle book and the companion audio. It really nelped me to listen and read at the same time so I could get used to the audios.

    • Tricia says

      That’s a good idea. I was thinking I’d start with a “fluffy” romance type book & hopefully it’ll keep my interest! I enjoyed reading Hopeless, I bet it would be good as an audio! Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. says

    I just started reading to audiobooks last year and it really did take me awhile to get used to listening rather than reading. The first time I tried, I keep falling asleep lol

    I love overdrive, I borrow from my local library too although sometimes, being on hold gets me impatient which is why I’m subscribed to audible. I get 1 credit for $15 a month which I make sure I get my money’s worth by buying audiobooks much higher than that price point. I’m subscribed to Scribd too and they recently just added audiobooks so that’s something you should check out! Looking forward to what you discover on audio Tricia! :)
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    • Tricia says

      LOL, falling asleep was one of my concerns with audio books, that’s why I thought it would be good to try while doing something (driving, walking, cooking, etc). I’m not sure I could just sit & listen without falling asleep!! I may have to check out those other audio sites because my library’s database is limited — or at least the books I’d be interested in is limited! Thanks for the great tips! :-)

  3. says

    I really want to try audio books but I worry that my attention span won’t let me focus on the story or that I won’t like the narrators. It’s kinda how I feel about certain actor’s and how they might impact a film I’m dying to see. *shrugs* But my schedule is so hectic lately that I might give it a try soon’ish. Great post Tricia! :)

    • Tricia says

      Those were some of my concerns too. I’m not sure if my attention span can handle listening to a whole book. If I try to just sit & listen, I may get sleepy! But if I’m doing something while listening (driving, walking, etc), will the action keep me from listening? And a narrator can make it or break it too! I’m going to start with a “fluffy” romance book & we’ll see how it goes!! I think it’s a great idea, especially if it helps get through my TBR list — we’ll see if it’ll keep my attention!! :-)

  4. says

    I don’t prefer one over the other, both have their merits, and it really depends on the story. The narrator can make a HUGE difference by transforming a so-so listen into audiobook gold, or it can go the other way, and make a brilliant read a DNF. Audible is my go-to site & app. I like OverDrive, but unfortunately my library doesn’t carry very many titles that interest me, so I don’t use it often.
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Hunted by a Jaguar by Felicity HeatonMy Profile

    • Tricia says

      Great points! A narrator can definitely make it or break it. I have a feeling I’ll have to check out other sites eventually (if I like the audio experience) because my library is limited too or at least the titles I’m interested in are few. I think it’s a great concept (especially for those on the go), so I want to give it a try. No harm in trying something new, LOL! I think I’ll always prefer reading, but listening can be a bonus! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Anna Maling says

    I just started listening to books over the summer. Our family is a new foster family. I now have 5 kids in the house (4 biological and 1big ole Foster baby:) and sitting down to read a book has been a bit of a luxury I can no longer afford. I started looking on overdrive thru the Library, and now I use I’m still looking for an affordable site, so any help with that would be great! BTW the library is such a lifesaver! Budget wise it’s hard to buy every book I wanna read so LIBRARY TO THE RESCUE! I fell in love with my library so much I decided I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up. I did some research….. you need a doctrine….. not gonna happen:) ANYWAYS… I now listen to books while I do all of the housework. I get into my cleaning groove while listening to James Frasier, Brennus, and many other of my book boyfriends. It’s an amazing way to do the dishes! I still like to get my hands on a book, and take a big whiff of those lovely pages, but when you are desperate for an escape to a land far away from kids and, dare I say HUSBAND??? Hand me my phone, give me some earbuds and leave me be!

    • Tricia says

      Wow 5 kids?! That’s awesome! And definitely makes your reading time limited! I love my local library too, it really helps with my book budget! Sooo you’ve listened to the Outlander series on audio?! Is it narrated with an accent? Because it really should be, LOL!! Hmm I may have to try it in audio — I’ve only read the 1st book. Even if the audios work for me, I wouldn’t give up on reading books (physical or ebooks), I’ll still love them! Reading (& listening to books) is a well needed escape for me too! Thanks for stopping by & sharing! :-)

      • Anna Maling says

        Outlander series is performed WONDERFULLY!! The narrator does a great job with everyone’s different accent and voices. I read the first book and now I’m listening to the others. You do have to be careful with the audios though. I once listened to a book read by Siri. That was AWFUL!!

        • Tricia says

          Ooh Outlander in audio is very intriguing! Oh my, I can’t imagine trying to listen to an audio narrated by Siri!! How annoying!!

  6. says

    I only ever read books. I’ve thought about listening to them, but I think I’d get bored. Plus I’d need to be doing something else. I need something to hold or look at. Even when I’m listening to music I need to be doing something at the same time. But I hope you enjoy trying them! :)
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    • Tricia says

      That’s one of my concerns too — I’m not used to just listening either. That’s why I’m hoping if I do something while listening, maybe it will work. We’ll see if I can stay focused on both the audio & my activity! I’m so used to reading books, but I’m going to try it. Thanks for stopping by!! :-)

  7. says

    I have never listened to audio books other than short children’s stories with my girls like you mentioned. Adam, my hubs, does not read (shock!) so I bought him the New Testament on audio and he loves it. It has famous people and dramatic reading and background noise and all. It was neat. The only audiobook I think I would be interested in is Outlander. I want to hear those accents! <3
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    • Tricia says

      I bet you’d love Outlander in audio — especially if the accents are correct!! Let me know if you try an audio! That’s pretty cool about the New Testament audio with famous people & background noise! Thanks for sharing!! :-)

  8. says

    A good narrator is EVERYTHING! Even the best books can be ruined by a shitty narrator. So listen to samples, preferably different samples of the narrator, and don’t be afraid to return an audiobook if you are liking it. I would suggest starting with a few of your favorites to get the hang of it. Also, speed it up a little.
    When I first started, it would take me 3 weeks to finish an audio book, now I listen to 3-5 a week. They are the best to make cooking, cleaning less boring :)
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    • Tricia says

      Wow, you listen to 3 – 5 a week?! That’s awesome! I have weeks where I don’t even read that many books! I was thinking of starting with a favorite author, too. I figured though that some books are better read than listened to. We’ll see how it goes! Thanks for the great tips, I appreciate them!! :-)

  9. says

    Nereyda is a huge audiobook junkie. She gets through so many books by listening to books. I tend to listen to audiobooks when I’m blogging or doing something on my computer, but I find myself getting focused on my task rather than on the book. EEEK! I want to get better at paying attention. I’d love to be able to audiobook and read ebooks/paperbacks. I have so many books I want to get to!!
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    • Tricia says

      That was one of my concerns — that I’d either get too focused on my task & not really listen to the audio or that I’d get too focused on the audio & forget about my task, LOL! Getting through all the books I want to read is one of the reasons I wanted to give audiobooks a try. My TBR list seems huge to me & there’s a lot of books I can’t wait to read! I was hoping audiobooks would help me accomplish that! We’ll see! Thanks for sharing! :-)

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