To Audio or Not to Audio?

 So, I've been battling myself as to whether or not I should sign up for Audible.com. I know that there are a lot of people in the world who would probably say YES! Do it! and then there are probably a ton of people that are like Boo, lame! And I'm having my own little heart pulled apart by my two sides bickering over it. Kind of like the proverbial Angel and Devil on each shoulder.

Now, now. I know you are probably thinking "Woah, this is NOT that big of a deal, calm down." And, well, you are probably right.

But I can't tell you how many times I have been in my car, listening to some rockin' 90's tune or another (that I've heard 323,423,489 times), and I think to myself: If only I had an audio book to be listening to (that isn't The Great Gatsby), I would totally be getting ahead of the game and reading without really reading.

Here are my issues with doing it though (we'll go pros and cons):

  • I would be reading with out really reading, saving time while I am driving around and such.
  • I could get my hands on books I might not find in a Used Bookstore.
  • Stephen King once said [I believe in On Writing or perhaps in the preface to a Dark Tower Series book] that he liked audiobooks because people couldn't just skim the page and move on, they HAD to listen to what was being read. It's a good point - but I'm not sure it applies to me. I can easily zone out while listening to people talk, and I very rarely skip anything in a book because I'm always frantic that I will miss something. I'm not sure if this is a pro or a con. More so just a thought.

  • It is about $15 dollars a month, and you get ONE credit for ONE book. I think this would be a good deal if I was getting new hardcover books, but most of the time I'm not. I'm usually digging through used book stores where I can get THREE books for $15 dollars.
  • I'm not even sure how much I like audiobooks. I'm afraid that I might absolutely hate someones voice and have it bug me the ENTIRE time I am listening.
  • I don't get to have the feeling of a book in my hands. That feeling of turning pages, the smells, and all that jazz. This is the same argument I have for things like the Nook and the Kindle... but who knows how valid it really is. It's only one book a month that I would not get that feeling of having a real life novel in my hands. I'm sure I could get over it.
  • Say I just wanted to download stuff off of iTunes. I will randomly choose two books off of my TBR list and see what that would cost for me to download. Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood ($11.95) and Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion ($12.99). So the cost would be around $25 bucks. So ten dollars more than Audible, but an extra book included. Some books on iTunes are only like ten dollars. Hmmm.
Anyway, these are my thoughts. Does anyone have any advice on whether or not to sign up for it? Do you think that iTunes would just be a better bet, or screw the whole audiobook deal and just stick to tangible novels?


  1. I bought a German edition of Moby Dick about a year ago -- read by one of the best German narrators (the voice of Robert de Niro in German versions of US movies). It's unabridged, amounting to 30 hours of reading, on 26 CDs in the original package. I've just recently converted all of it to MP3 and carry it around on my Android.

    My daily commute to work is no longer the same. It is a wonderful experience.

    It is not a substitute for reading a book. It is something different. Like reading, it exposes you to the book, which is a good thing. There might well be cases where I would want to read the book itself again, after listening to it -- and vice versa.

    It is a huge enrichment of my life, and I would not want to miss it.

    I am not a friend of subscription models though, and if I can get stuff via individual purchases rather than by subscription, I would always go for that even if it was slightly more expensive.

    Happy listening.

  2. Audiobooks are free all over the internet, and I'm sure that badass boyfriend of yours could hook up a USB drive reader in your car or an ipod attachment. I love audiobooks. Henry Rollins' Get In The Van is one of my favorites, and actually read by him. Pretty sure it won a Grammy too (which might matter to you depending on how much you care about those sorts of things). Jon Stewart's America is pretty awesome too, and funny as hell.