Audiobooks, Paperbacks, and Kindles, Oh my!

As I savor the last of the short stories in Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life and Others, I’m also starting in on an Audible offering, Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind.


I’ve had very mixed feelings about audiobooks and my experiences seem to be largely determined by the audiobook’s reader. Neil Gaiman is an excellent narrator, as you could only assume he would be, so I’ve loved every one of his audiobooks thus far. I got frustrated with the tone and pace of the reader forĀ Station Eleven, which made it tough to finish the book. Whereas Benedict Cumberbatch was so much fun to listen to, I didn’t really mind that I didn’t love the book.

The issue I’ve encountered in The Name of the Wind is that it’s a sweeping epic, likened by some to The Lord of the Rings, but it’s read by a kid who sounds like he may just have graduated from college. Not to be agist, but too many of these character’s voices sound like they require a seasoned voice to represent them. It’s been a major distraction.

Does anyone out there enjoy audiobooks? Do you have any favorite readers? Any least favorites?

I don’t encounter these sorts of distractions when I read books in paperback or on my Kindle, happily. Although, the voice-to-text on the Kindle can lend very interesting insights as you hear text read aloud in a monotone, digital voice. I couldn’t listen to a whole book that way, but it is certainly a worthwhile stop gap when I just can’t pick up a book to read it for whatever reason.

What about you? Do you love to listen, to feel the printed page between your fingers, or to scroll across the screen at your leisure?

How do you read best?

6 thoughts on “Audiobooks, Paperbacks, and Kindles, Oh my!

  1. I love whispersync so I have the option to listen to an audiobook while I’m walking home, but then switch to the kindle version when I’m reading in bed. Another great narrator is Caroline Lee who narrates Liane Moriarty’s audiobooks. She always makes the journey home seem too short!


    1. I love the concept of whispersync!

      Do you have to purchase the eBook separate from purchasing the audiobook?

      And thank you for the reader recommendation!


      1. Amazon offers you the accompanying audiobook at a discount when you purchase the ebook version for books that qualify. Often, it’s cheaper than buying the audible copy alone.


  2. I like to read on my kindle…on my phone…and I like real books too…I’ll be honest though, the kindle is great because of the backlight and the size. Smaller than any book, so it can live in my purse all the time and I can read myself to sleep any time.
    I have difficulty listening to audio books because I don’t listen well…Either I get so engrossed in the story that I can’t do anything else, or I get distracted and then realize I have no idea what’s happening in the story.


    1. Agreed on all counts, Nomadic. The one time I can really enjoy and pay adequate attention to audiobooks is in the car. And then only if I’m driving alone!


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