Thursday, April 23, 2015

Audible audiobooks on Kindle - listening to a book

I have never been one for audio books even though I've tried them several times. The few times I've tried them, it did not snare me. I have friends who love audio books and use them regularly when they are doing something else that does not require their full attention, something repetitive like knitting or crocheting. I tried the audio books while cycling on a stationary bike and jogging on the treadmill and both times I found myself getting distracted and losing my place in the book. On top of that, I kept worrying about falling on my face while on the treadmill.

Recently, I had a trip to prepare for, where I had to drive 3 hours there and then 3 hours back. I was trying to figure out how to fill in that time and thought perhaps an audio book would be a good way to pass the time on a long drive.


I started looking around for audiobooks and of course, Audible is an obvious choice, but then I discovered (I had seen it being promoted) that if I bought a Kindle book, I could get the Audible version at a much more discounted price. Quite significantly discounted in fact, as you can see from this example below. The Audible version is $17.95 to purchase but if you bought the book and bundled the Audible version with it, it was only $1.99. Like I said, significantly discounted.


How do you know if the book has an Audible version? Well you will see these two images as part of the product page.

Where they list the various formats, they will show the Audible Audio Edition on the last line.


Additionally, to the right hand side, where the buy button is, you will also see the option to include the Audible version in your purchase as part of the Kindle / Audible bundle.


boundMy renewed journey into audio books started with a book that I purchased for free. It was Bound by Prophecy by Melissa Wright. I decided to pick up the Audible version because the book was free and the Audible version was only $1.99. I thought that this was not a large investment to see how I liked it. I discovered two things from this exercise. (1) The book was not my thing. It's a paranormal but it was also Young Adult. Not s sub-genre I normally read. (2) The narrator is very important. This narrator made the characters sound young, like the teenagers that they were which is a very good thing, but it didn't work for me. So I moved on.

execThe next one I tried (also a free book) was The Executive's Decision by Bernadette Marie. This one was a contemporary romance and it contained the boss / secretary trope that I'm rather fond of. I started listening to this right away and discovered that the narrator's voice was okay but it made the lead female character sound neurotic and whiney. That said, it did captivate and intrigue me and so far about 11% in, it's holding my attention. This one has the added benefit of me listening to it in the car and sharing the experience with Steve. We don't realize how corny and silly some of the romance stories sound until we hear it out loud. Steve and I had many LOL moments in the car while listening to this. We're chortling away at the dialogue and the heroine's crazy internal dialogue (thank goodness she doesn't have an Inner Goddess!). Of course, it helps too that Steve's a bit of a cynic and doesn't think highly of the genre, so he's got a very interesting commentary going on while we're listening to the book. All in all, fun, so I'll keep listening. It's slow going though. It would probably take me 3.5 hours to read the book but it's about 8 hours to listen. I could speed it up, but then I might start to miss stuff. It does require some concentration.

romeoThe final one I've picked up is Going Back For Romeo by L L Muir. This one is a time travel romance set in Scotland and the narrator is a guy with a lovely Scottish burr. Perfect for the story, I think. I only hope that his enunciation is good enough that I can understand him well through the burr but from the little I've heard, I think it will be fun. I've designated this one as my driving listen when I go on my road trip. I'm anxious to see how that works out.

ivanA few things I have discovered I love about the Audible / Kindle bundling. The audio version is integrated into the Kindle app or device, so you can flip between audio and reading without losing your place in the book. Very nifty and very convenient.

It's also very easy to download the file from Audible onto your Kindle. Amazon has very clear instructions on how to do it and it works a treat. The technology is so well integrated and works fabulously.

The one thing to bear in mind though, it's super easy to get carried away and download a whole ton of audio books quickly and load them onto your phone or tablet or whatever device you are using. The catch here? It chews up the data storage on your device real fast so you need to keep an eye on your storage. A 275 page book translates into a 113Mb audio book file downloaded to your device. Ten of those and you've used up 1Gb is space. Fortunately, I have about 31Gb to spare on my phone where I will be doing most of my listening but at the same time, I'm going to be careful. I want to practice some good organization hygiene on the phone to make sure that I don't download too many audio books onto it and also not get silly about buying a whole lot of $1.99 and $2.99 audio books that I may not listen to. I do want to pick up Ann Mayburn's Ivan's Captive Submissive because I've seen somewhere that the narrator has a lovely Russian accent and I think that will be fun to listen to.

Note. If you have already purchased the Kindle eBook and want the audio version. Make sure you go back to the Kindle eBook page to purchase the audio version so that the two link in your Kindle app. I made the mistake with two books to purchase them from my Audible page instead and the books didn't link. I ended up having to download them onto my computer, putting them into iTunes and loading them onto my phone to listen via the Music app on my phone instead of via the Kindle app.

Do you like audio books? What do you prefer? Reading or listening? Let me know. I want to know.

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