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An audiofile's guide to listening
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By Emilyn Linden
I LOVE listening to audiobooks on Libby, the Overdrive app*. I have a long commute, and listening to a book while I’m driving makes it feel so much shorter. I get more reading done now than I have since I was a kid with summers off. And yes, listening to audiobooks is reading.
Here are a few things I’ve learned that enhance the audiobook experience:
- Try different genres. When I first started listening to audiobooks, I only listened to young adult fiction. Just couldn't get into anything else. Now I'll listen to pretty much any genre.
- Try different narrators. There are certain narrators I really love and certain narrators I loathe. I'll give up on an audiobook after a few minutes if I realize I'm going to hate the narrator.
- Adjust the speed. I listen to most audiobooks at 1.75 time (almost double-speed) now, but it took me a while to get to that level. Most narrators read pretty slowly. You can adjust the speed of the narration on Libby.
- Listen while you're doing something else that doesn’t take a lot of concentration. I love to listen to audiobooks while I'm driving. I also love to listen while I'm knitting, as long as it's not a difficult project. Sometimes I listen while I'm taking a walk or doing the dishes.
- Check out the award winners. Audies select the best audiobooks every year from a variety of categories. They’re a great place to start your audiobook listening journey.
Suggested books that are particularly good on audio:
- Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, narrated by Bahni Turpin (I love listening to books set in foreign countries or cultures. The narrator pronounces the names for me; I don't have to try to figure them out.)
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, narrated by George Newbern
- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, narrated by Jayne Entwistle
- A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, narrated by Kate Reading
- Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, narrated by Jefferson Mays
- Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, narrated by Mariska Hargitay and the authors
- An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, narrated by Kristen Sieh and the author
- Montaigne in Barn Boots by Michael Perry, narrated by the author
- A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas, narrated by Kate Reading
- Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino, narrated by the author
- Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister, narrated by the author
- Educated by Tara Westover, narrated by Julia Whelan
*Need help learning how to download audiobooks? Call the Reference Desk at 920-322-3930 and one of us will walk you through it.
Emilyn Linden is a librarian in the Information Services department.