Favorite Book Formats Part I: Audible Versions


I usually have 3-4 books on the go at all times. One or two in print, one e-book and one Audible book. I do have certain criteria I use to determine whether I want to read a paper, e-book or Audible version of a book and I thought I would share those with you. For this post I’m going to focus on Audible versions.

Audible is near and dear to my heart. It allows me to enjoy books I never would have read in print and enjoy them while doing other tasks that are not so enjoyable. I listen while I’m driving, doing dishes, walking the dog and house cleaning. Heck, I’ve even listened in the tub. I’ve been listening to Audible books since 2001 and have listened to over 325 books. I’m telling you, it’s totally addictive.

So, how do I determine what books will be most enjoyable to listen to? Well, here’s my take on the best books for Audible consumption.

1. The book is BIG and could be complicated.
I consider a book over 500 pages to be large. That’s in comparison to the average book I read, which I estimate to be around 320 pages. I normally will not choose a printed copy of a book larger than 500 pages. I need the sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a book and large books just take too long. It’s way to tempting to set them aside and promise to come back eventually. Audible is perfect for these larger books. I’m currently listening to 1Q84. With over 900 pages, I never ever would have continued plowing my way through it if I was reading the print version. Game of Thrones is another one that would have overwhelmed me in print.

2. The book’s characters are something other than American/the story mainly takes place outside the US.
Hearing a book read to you in the accent which the character in the book has is one of the great perks of Audible. Sophie Kinsella books are so fun to listen to. You get a better sense of the British characters and the humor really shines in the British voice. Historical novels are very well suited to this media. Ariana Franklin books are some of my favorite. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Please look After Mom were beautifully narrated allowing the books locales to shine through and create a total immersion.

3. The book is read by the Author.
The first Audible book I ever listened to was Shop Girl by Steve Martin. It was narrated by Steve Martin himself. I wouldn’t have enjoyed the book nearly as well in print, but I loved listening to him tell the story. Biographies are the best to listen to. I loved Bossy Pants and Stories I Only Tell My Friends. Hearing Tina Fey tell about her childhood and Rob Lowe list off his A-list friends makes you feel like they are telling their stories just to you.

If you’re an Audible fan like me, leave a comment and tell what books you like to listen to. If you haven’t tried it, you should. I guarantee you’ll be addicted if you do!


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