As you are, I once was. As I am you will be.

At least I hope so.

In his afterword to the audio version Bag of Bones, Stephen King talks about how when people catch the audiobook bug, it becomes an addiction. I know that it is true in my case. But unlike the other types of addictions, this is a beautiful one.

So many readers tell me that they simply can't do audiofiction. I understand. I really do, because I was exactly the same way. I might do a short audio story or maybe a novella, but I could not imagine indulging in a long audiobook.

What changed it for me was Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky. This has always been one of my favorite novels, and I bought an MP3 disc of it for a trip I was taking. I listened to it twice through, and then I began devouring more audobooks.

I'm a full-fledged audiofiction junkie now. I have found that it has helped me in so many ways. It makes the long commute I have much, much more bearable. It also helps me have the time to go back to books I have read an enjoyed in the past. Around 90% of the audiobooks I do are of books I have previously read.

I can't count how many I've listened to in the past year or two. Dozens. Some favorites of mine are Swan Song, Needful Things, the aforementioned Farmer in the Sky, the Hap and Leonard novels of Joe R. Lansdale, The Cabinet of Curiosities, the early NYC trilogy of Repairman Jack novels...I could go on and on.

Some have been acute disappointments. If a reader does not do the work justice, or if his inflections and delivery unsuit me, the book is a bust.

Audiobooks are big productions now, with sound effects and careful editing. No longer do narrators simply read the books aloud.

And they are getting bigger all the time. Many seem to think that the Audiobook sun rises and sets with, but I do not use that service. I don't like their user-unfriendly file formats, and I don't care to contribute to Amazon's success.

I much prefer Their membership is cheaper and more flexible than Audible's, but you do not have to be a member to take advantage of unbeatable sales they have. In a Black Friday blowout this year I scored audiobooks by Richard Matheson, Frederic Brown, Charles Beaumont, Stephen King, Theodore Sturgeon, and many others.

Brilliance Audio has been putting out audiobooks in inexpensive MP3 formats, often with prices under ten dollars. I've gotten ones from F. Paul Wilson, David Morrell, Robert A. Heinlein, and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child in this way.

Most libraries have generous selections of audiobooks. Both in physical formats, as well as downloadable ones.

I have a friend who I trade audiobooks with from time to time. He never reads and only does the audio format. I will never do that. Or at least as long as I have eyes to see. Nothing will replace a real book in my hands.

I'm hoping that more readers will branch out and start listening to audiobooks. I've been having a grand time with them, and once the bug catches you, I bet that you will as well.

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry