Why I Listen To Audio Books

I love listening to an author read their book. Now some of you might recall an author who gave an awfully monotone rendition leaving you wondering how they could have composed such a beautiful story. So, let me rephrase that. I like to listen to MOST authors read their books.

The reason for this might be as simple as they know the characters and thus know how they might sound in conversation. Another reason is because you hear the intended inflection of each sentence as it was supposed to be heard, unlocking the story even more.

William Golding

For the last few years I have been on a classic binge. This romp has taken me through most of Dickens’ work, Graham Greene, Thomas Hardy, C. S. Lewis, and Ray Bradbury. Thus, one of my most recent library borrows was William Goldings’ Lord of the Flies.

Mr. Golding, though terribly old at the reading, can deliver a story. His introduction was spectacular and his ability to deliver a line was clear from the first sentence. He painted word pictures effortlessly and just listening to the first few chapters left a vivid impression of the story he wrote.

Recently, I was instructed to work on pacing. Working on structure or verb agreement is much easier. Pacing seems ethereal, like trying to investigate something in a spirit world using scientific instruments. So, besides getting critiques from my writing friends, listening to audio books is the best way I know how to glean this part of the writing craft.

Listening to audio books has helped me more than I expected. It has given me perspective and a glimpse of pacing. It has also given me something to do on the way to and from work each day.

Do you like to listen to audio books? If so, why? Do you use it as a tool to become a better writer?



4 thoughts on “Why I Listen To Audio Books

    1. Bob Evenhouse

      It just gives a different perspective. I would encourage it just for the simple fact of getting through a book. I have a 15min commute to work so it’s just enough to get through about a disc per day. So that is a guaranteed 12-15 books a year read. Even if nothing is gleaned I can stay knowledgeable of the latest novels without having to stay up till all hours getting through them.

  1. I’m a huge fan of audio books–for traveling, doing dishes, playing with the kids, sleeping. They help busy people get time to read.Audible.com is an affordable way to get them.
    I agree that they help with pacing. When I read, I skip most of the details. But when I listen, I have to follow along through the scenery and slower parts. This helps me know how to write those in my own stories.
    Of course, the reader makes or breaks the story. One of my favorite authors has a terrible reader, so I can’t enjoy his audio books. But there are other books I would have never thought to read that I love because of the narrator.

    1. Daniel thanks for the reference to Audible.com. I do the cheap method and go to the library a 10 min walk from my house. I will check out the link though. Thanks for the recommendation.

      I hate when I come across terribly narrators. That is the hardest part about audiobooks.

      Thank you for popping in.

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