I feel like if you’ve read my blog for at least a couple of weeks and/or months, you probably have heard me talk about audiobooks and more importantly: how much I love them. Which, is a lot. I love them so much, I actually wrote an entire blog post trying to convince you guys to give them a try too. That’s real love, I’m telling you.
But what if you’re still a bit insecure about how to go about finding the right audiobook and what you should keep in mind when trying to decide on which one to get? That’s what we’re here to talk about today!
Caro actually asked for tips as part of the questions she sent me for my little Q&A and I figured it would make for a great standalone post rather than just a question I answer quickly, so thank you for the inspiration, Caro! I appreciate it a TON.
Take Advantage Of Free Trials
If you’ve wanted to give audiobooks a try but didn’t want to spend money on something you might not end up liking, I highly suggest taking advantage of tree trials! A good number of services have them these days and they’re a great way to try something without having to invest money into it straight away. Audible offers a free trial with a book of your choice, Scribd has a month-long free trial and you get to listen to multiple audiobooks (plus, they also have ebooks) and for any of fellow German readers, BookBeat offers a two-week trial where you can listen to multiple books too.
Something I really like about Audible is the fact that you can return an audiobook if you end up not enjoying it and you won’t lose that credit. You’ll get it back and can choose a different book instead! I definitely made use of that offer a couple of times when I realized that a book just wasn’t as awesome as I had hoped.
Listen To Samplers
Whenever I would go about picking a new audiobook to listen to, I would often check the sampler to see if I liked the narrator and the way they told the story. Samplers are a fantastic way to get a feel for the audiobook itself and the atmosphere that is being set. The sampler for The Wicked Deep was what actually pushed me to pick up the book and read a couple of months ago. I had heard some praise for the book but couldn’t decide whether or not I wanted to read it or not, that sampler was the deciding factor!
Pick A Narrator You Can Listen To For Hours On End
Sometimes audiobooks can be pretty long (like 18+ hours) and in those cases, especially, it’s important that you actually enjoy listening to the person reading you the story. You don’t want to have a bad narrator negatively impact the way you feel about a book you might otherwise love. However, sometimes there are books out there that you just have to read yourself because the audiobook just doesn’t work, and that’s fine too!
I’m 100% someone who makes sure they enjoy the way someone talks and that I enjoy listening to their voice before I commit myself to them – be it for an audiobook or even a channel on YouTube. I figured it might be helpful to recommend some narrators I’ve come to really enjoy over the years so you guys have a starting point of sorts, so here are some of my favorites.
- Fiona Hardingham (Ember Quartett, The Conqueror’s Saga)
- Will Patton (The Raven Cycle)
- Lauren Fortgang (Grishaverse)
- Steve West (Ember Quartett, Strange The Dreamer)
- Nancy Wu (Warcross Duology, Flame In The Mist Duology)
I’m sure there are more fantastic narrators out there but whenever I see any of these names attached to an audiobook I’m interested in, I don’t even have to listen to the sampler, I’ll just get it right away because I know I enjoy their style!
Speed Up Your Audiobook
The very first audiobook I ever got was Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe and was read by Lin Manuel Miranda (the reason I got this audiobook, basically) and even though I really enjoyed Lin Manuel as a narrator, I often found myself bored with the story. It wasn’t until quite a bit later that I realized all I had to do was speed up the audiobook and suddenly I was much more engaged with the story and ended up finishing it too (I’d been close to DNFing it before, not gonna lie).
Most services will give you the option to speed up your audiobook and if you find yourself struggling with the story, try speeding it up before giving up entirely. Obviously, don’t do it to a degree where you can’t keep up anymore but try around and see how fast you can go – you might even be able to go faster a bit down the road. I’ve gone from like 1.5x to at least 2x the speed for most of my audiobooks without losing any of the reading experience.
Listen To A Favorite
This feels like a bit of a universal tip for various areas of your life, but it’s true! I remember often hearing people suggesting to watch shows or movies you already know in the language you want to learn because you already know the story so you’re not struggling to keep up with what’s happening in a brand new story. You can take the time to take in what’s new about this experience: the different language.
So, for any audiobook beginners who want to see if audiobooks are for them – try looking up your favorite book on any streaming service and consume it that way. Personally, this has also become a favorite way to reread books for me. It makes the story I’m reading fresh in my mind and keeps me engaged throughout.
How about you guys? Are you audiobook lovers like me? Have you never tried them before? Or have you been thinking of trying them but need a little push? I can work with either and if need be, I can annoy you – ahem, I mean convince you, to give them a try, at least!
For my fellow audiobook lovers, do you guys have some more tips to offer for audiobook newbies? Anything I forgot to mention above? I’d love your input in the comments below! And also! What are some of you guys’ favorite narrators? Please leave them down below too! 😀