As you all probably know, I’m still suffering from the concussion I got three-and-a-half years ago(!). And while I’ve been trying to get back into reading, I can only read for maybe 20 minutes or so before I get dizzy (which isn’t nearly long enough when the book is good, and which if I push through, makes me feel even worse).
So recently I started listening to audiobooks.
In some ways, I really like them, but I also have a few issues, so I thought I’d lay out my audiobook pros and cons.
- They don’t make me dizzy/trigger a migraine
- I can listen to books while cooking dinner, riding a bus (I get too carsick to read in a vehicle), or otherwise occupied
- I can only listen to them while cooking dinner/riding the bus/otherwise occupied, or else I fall asleep
- It takes time to pause them – if I’m interrupted while reading, all I have to do is put the book down or quickly slip in a bookmark, but when I’m listening on my phone, I have to pull out the phone, turn it on, pause the program and remove my headphones if my kids start talking to me, or my landline rings. Then I have to figure out how far to rewind to catch what I missed.
- They’re slow. I read fast (well, I did before the concussion), and I find the pace of the reading drags. I’ve switched to listening to them at 1.5x speed, but I find they definitely lose some of the dramatic impact that way (plus I occasionally miss words at that speed).
- My library places all audiobooks *and* ebooks, regardless of genre or category, in one list. So, not only have I accidentally requested some kindle text versions in my haste, but the only way to figure out if the book is a YA or not is by Googling the title.
- I’m a really visual person, and I find it hard to not be able to see the text. I want to know how weird fantasy names are spelled.
- It’s almost impossible to go back and check something. Want to go back and double-check that bit of foreshadowing you just realized the author dropped in the first chapter? Too bad, so sad, unless you happened to remember the timestamp.
Okay, it probably looks like I hate audiobooks right now.
I’ve missed books (even though I’ve been reading a bit, I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I should due to the pain/difficulty), and audiobooks have given that back to me. So, while they probably won’t become my favourite way to consume literature, they are definitely better than not reading at all.
What about you? What are your thoughts on audiobooks? Let me know in the comments.