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Friday, 9 May 2014

Audio books: Turning the commute into a whole new world

Choosing an audio book to listen to is much more difficult than picking a fiction book to read. Not only does it need to be a good story but the performer also needs to bring the story to life. When you pick a good one, boy is it a rewarding experience. I think listening to a story taps into our childhood experiences and can give us great comfort.

I’ve been listening to audio books on my way to work since just before Christmas. I have to pick books which are easy to follow. (I have to concentrate on the road at the same time). So after a bit of experimenting I realised they had to be books set in the real world. Fantasy was too difficult to follow with all the strange names and places.

I love Nora Roberts’ novels so I tried Blue Smoke and it was fantastic. A little scary at times but the reader was great to listen to and the plot kept me wanting to hear more. I ended out listening to it even when I wasn’t in the car. So I’d be ironing and listening to it or cleaning the bathroom. My husband thought it was hilarious.

Then I was searching for James Patterson and James Herriot came up instead. I’d watched Young Herriot on TV and enjoyed it so I thought: why not?! I downloaded the first one and it was an absolute joy to listen to. I was laughing my socks off in the car and suddenly the Yorkshire Dales were all around me and suburbia had disappeared. I’m now onto his fourth book – Vet in Harness. I’m not sure I’d normally read a book about a vet. I’m pretty squeamish but being read to is entirely different. The books are full of charming anecdotes of life as a rural vet and they are highly entertaining.

I used to think audio books were expensive. A couple of years back I bought some on Audible. But now I’ve discovered that my public library is part of the London Library Consortium and using Overdrive I can download them for free for a period of a few weeks. Don’t forget you don’t have to live in a town to become a member of a public library so this service should be available to everyone in the UK which is why I wanted to write this post.

Also, I want to hear about which audio books you’ve enjoyed listening to. Share in the comments.


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