– Audiobooks straight to your iPod – 80% off!

Firstly, a late ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to friends in the US.  Hope you ate your bodyweight in turkey and chocolate, and now can’t do up your jeans.

Today is Black Friday, the biggest shopping day in the US, and is the reason that people all around the world now get to take advantage of the sales before Christmas.  The Internet is a wonderful thing!

I could post all day about the myriad sales on…well, just about anything you could possibly wish to buy, and I may do a composite post later in the day with my fave sales here in the UK.  For now I would like to let you all know about one of my favourite sites in the whole world, who quite spectacularly have up to a massive 80% off today!

Just in case you are still in the dark, Audible is an Amazon owned company which only deals with audiobooks.  You can download them straight to your computer, iPad, iPod, smartphone or whichever electrical device you choose.  It is super simple (I know it much be, as I can manage it), and has 1000’s of audiobooks ready at the click of a button, including new releases and bestsellers.

Why I love it

Part of my condition means I often have trouble concentrating, and reading large amounts of text.  As an avid bookworm, it used to be an endless source of frustration.  Not anymore!  A sizable percentage of popular fiction released now is also done in audiobook format.  You can also get alot of non-fiction, and the ubiquitous celeb biography, the majority of which are narrated by the author themselves.
Tip. Don’t pay out for most classics, as they are often available for free download.  Always check first!

I could quite easily (and do often) listen to Audiobooks 24 hours a day, especially if I’m poorly.  I find it relaxing, interesting, and preferable to the goggle-box most of the time, especially if my vision is spotty or I’m light sensitive.

Things to consider

An audiobook is a different animal to a paper/hardback book, or one on your kindle or tablet.  Having been a huge fan of them for the last 10 years (when I used to borrow books on tape/CD from the library – gosh, I’m showing my age!), I have a list of things I consider in addition to ‘would I like to read this’, which is the only question I ever really asked myself when reading ‘physical’ books.

  1. Narration.  If the book is read in a nasal/squeaky/booming voice, there is a good chance you won’t enjoy listening to it for the 8 or so hours it takes to listen to your average paperback.  Many are read by professionals with lovely voices, but even then, beware of dodgy put on accents, or an inability to switch well between characters convincingly, making the book seem choppy.  I have specific narrators whose voices I love (eg. Stephen Fry), and whose other work I download purely because I love the voice.
  2. Silly sound effects.  I find books relaxing, as opposed to music, which I love, but find it energises my brain (something I don’t want if my body is not cooperating).  When you are listening to a lovely relaxing literary gem, the last thing you want is annoying music at the start of each chapter, or odd klaxons and such.  It might sound odd, but I have had many listening experiences rudely interrupted in this manner.
  3. When will you be listening.  I often listen before going to sleep, and fall asleep most night with my Skull Candys still in, meaning I ‘listen’ to the book till it’s finished, even if I am asleep.  In the same way that you can fall asleep dreaming of Christian Grey after a few chapters of 50 Shades before bed, the same happens with an audiobook, but more so.  I have lost count of the nights I have spent dreaming I am the protagonist in a Marian Keyes novel, or Stephen Fry (if only!).  To that end, I would personally advise against anything scary or haunting before bed.  Dreaming that you are Kay Scarpetta is not as fun as it sounds!  If however you are not as suggestible as me, or don’t scare easily, listen away, and have an adventure.  Let me know how you get on.
  4. Is it abridged or not? I personally prefer to download the unabridged version of a book.  This is the full version of the book as written.  Abridged simply means that the original text has been condensed so it’s not as long.  If you prefer a shorter book then it’s perfect, but make sure you look at which version you are getting before you download.
  5. Would I like to read this? I know, I have mentioned this already, but it bears repeating.  If you read the blurb, and you don’t like the sound of it, chances are you won’t like the book.  You may also be pleasantly surprised, so it’s always worth a listen, but my instincts are usually right on the money with regards to liking the content of the book or not.

And if all else fails, Audible allow you to ‘return’ books after listening if you’re not 100% satisfied, so really you can’t lose, and can disregard everything I’ve just said. It is more for any audiobook ‘virgins’, who I really really want to love the medium, and would hate these little niggles to put them off.

And if that weren’t enough….they currently have 80% off loads of titles, plus a half price deal if you subscribe to one of two books a month.  You get to choose which ones you want, up to any value, and pay for them with ‘credits’ which you get as part of the subscription (which you can cancel at any time).  I have been on a two book a month subscription for around 3 years, and quite frankly it’s not enough, and I always and up buying more mid-month.

I am currently listening to Bonkers: My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders, which is Absolutley Fabulous (hehe!), and a great first listen.

If any of you would like to try audiobooks from Audible or any of the other audiobook resources and wise to know more, please email or comment, and I will do all I can to help.  I am also happy to make ‘first listen’ recommendations based on personal preferences for anyone wishing to try out the audiobook experience.

Thank you for reading

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