Audiobooks Are One Of My Favorite Hobbies

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I am one of those people who is extremely busy during the day I have a full time job working about 9 hours a day with maintaining 4 blog sites at night.  I have my wife and two children who I carve out as much time with as I possibly can as well.  I don’t have any time to read novels like I used to, I used to enjoy reading a novel a week when I was younger and had alot of alone time.  Now my alone time is usually only found when I drive into the office which is about a one hour commute each way.

Audiobooks are the best thing for long drives in my opinion, I can listen to my favorite books or books that I want to catch up on and I have come to love the audio book medium better than reading the books manually.   Even Stephen King himself has once said that Audiobooks are among the best mediums for delivering the author’s work as it forces the reader to stay at the pace of the narrator and helps prevent people who skip ahead or skim faster through certain pages rather than others.

I find when I listen to a good audio book I can get lost in the story, almost like I am listening to a movie.  I can almost see and feel as if I was there with the characters, some audiobooks are just fantastic and others are just droning bores.  The narrator and speaker makes or breaks the audiobook in my opinion and even a mundane story can be more entertaining if read by a good speaker.  Some examples of great audiobooks are Jim Dale’s reading of the Harry Potter series, which is really engaging.  Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series read by George Guidall is among the best there is.  Though Frank Muller who read the original four books before suffering a critical accident was even better, George did a fantastic job taking over the reigns and provides the voice of Roland Deschane and company with convicing voicework.

Other more engaging audiobooks are in the Star Trek and Star Wars lines, where they blend in sound effects and music into the audio book itself.  So it feels like you are listening to a movie not just an audio book.  This is very much like the audio book version of Stephen King’s The Mist which was created to be an interactive Audio Experience.

When I was a kid I used to record my favorite movies onto cassette tape and listen to them at night, creating my own version of interactive audio books and this was over 20 years ago.  I would record Legend, Labyrinth and others and just listen to the story, music and sound effects instead of watching.  Letting my own mind create the visuals for me was an even more creative and expressive way of enjoying the works themselves.

So how many of you out there are this passionate about audio books?  Who prefers reading vs audio books?  I would like to hear from you.

-Justin Germino

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Updated: December 20, 2008 — 8:12 pm