I was never attracted to the idea of audio books. I had a hard enough time sitting still during Maniac Magee in 5th grade as Mrs. Clark’s voice droned on and on. I never thought I could concentrate long enough to listen to a book on tape. But this summer I gave it a try.
I was driving home from North Carolina with my Aunt and cousin’s 1 year old son, Milo, in the car and I needed something to keep me going. We stopped at Cracker Barrel, my Aunt’s number one restaurant, and I decided to try one of the audio books she is always raving about. Her three daughters grew up listening to books on tape and classic movie soundtracks on their long drives from wherever they were living in the south to visit us in Pennsylvania. They were who introduced me to My Fair Lady and Gypsy so I figured I had reason to trust her opinion of audio books. However, Milo wasn’t into the audio book and instead we were forced to listen to the Looney Toons dvd my Aunt bought for the portable DVD player she also just bought at the Walmart after Cracker Barrel. After dropping them off in Maryland I popped in my audio book and the next thing I knew, I was home. Wow. The magic of audio books. They make the drive go so quickly.
I didn’t finish the book in that 90 minute drive so I continued to listen to it to and from work every day. But when I realized the due date was quickly approaching I decided to bring it into work and listen to it at my desk. Ssshh! And to my magical wonder once more, the audio book made my work day go so quickly too!
It has been about two months since I listened to that audio book but I’ve been itching for another. I sometimes listen to them at the gym while getting through my elliptical/ bike/ run but I find myself zoning out and not paying attention to the story and they really don’t end up making the time go quicker. Instead I start focusing on how I haven’t been paying attention and then start fiddling with my iPhone to get back to where I stopped listening. So I’ve realized I have a few criteria for a good audio book
- It must be a mystery/thriller/suspense. Otherwise, there is no hook to keep me going.
- I must like the reader’s voice. Annoying voices are just annoying.
- It must be something I haven’t read before. I was trying to listen to old classics that I read a while ago and found myself zoning out when I remembered parts of the story.
- It must have an excellent plot. That’s a no brainer.
Simple criteria. Shouldn’t be hard to find. Any suggestions?