Frankly, this isn't exactly the first time I tried audiobook. My first take an audiobook was last year, when I read Gone Girl—but I gave up after listening to a few chapters, so I couldn't count that as a full experience. So now here's the first audiobook that I finished listening to, which is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The book itself isn't that long, it's only 214 pages while the audiobook is 4 hours and 50 minutes long. I had a lot of worries before I began listening to it because of my previous experience with Gone Girl. But thankfully I was able to finish listening to this one until the end. In this post, I will only discuss about my experience on listening to audiobook and also talk about the narration specifically in this audiobook; so I won't be discussing the contents of this book because that will be for my book review. Okay, without further ado, here's my first audiobook experience story :))
First of all, I have to explain that for this experience post, I'm listening to it in the .mp3 format on my phone audio player. So it has a lot of disadvantages compared to audiobook apps like Audible or Overdrive—which I will also discuss later in this post. While doing some research for this post, I only just found out that there's actually an app to play .mp3 audibooks with features that are available in Audible/Overdrive. This app is called MP3 Audiobook Player Free (iOS), and I think that will be very helpful for my second time listening to audiobook. For now, I will start by listing some pros and cons of listening to an audiobook :)
+ Able to listen while getting ready in the morning
For me, this is a huge advantage, because it took me around 30-45 minutes to get ready in the morning and I usually wouldn't be able to do anything else. But with audiobook, I can just play and listen to it whilst getting ready—like putting on makeup, doing my hair, or even wearing clothes. This is also applicable when I'm cleaning up my room.
+ Doesn't have to hold the book
This is quite important especially when you're reading a really thick book. But even though the book I'm reading for this experience is actually quite tiny, it's still fun not having to hold a book once in a while. Holding a book while reading can actually make my arms sore.
+ Practice listening to English
I have to admit that even though I'm pretty confident in reading English, I'm kind of suck at listening to them. Whenever I watch English-speaking movies, I depend a lot on the subtitles even though I use English subtitles. So I think listening to audiobooks will definitely help me improve that aspect, since reading English books has helped increased my vocabulary and also writing skills immensely.
+ It's good when the narrator uses multiple tones to add expressions
In the audiobook of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the narrator (Emily Woo Zeller) constantly changed her intonations to enact Marie Kondo's clients or someone's mother, etc. aside from the regular narrations. I find that really fascinating and also fun to listen to. This way, I get to really feel the emotions delivered through the narrations.
- Cannot mark your place (unless using apps like Audible or Overdrive)
Moving on to the first thing that bugs me about .mp3 audiobooks, is that I cannot mark my place (which is obviously not a problem with apps like Audible/Overdrive, and the app that I also mentioned earlier). So when I want to continue listening to the audiobook, I had to struggle and find the point that I stopped at the last time. But when I'm too lazy to do that, I actually listened to the same thing again twice. Or more than that.
- Cannot highlight a certain quote that I like
If you know me and read my reviews, you know how much I love quotes; and I usually mark the page or highlight them (in my Kindle) to be added in my reviews. Unfortunately, it's not possible with audiobooks. That's why I actually read the paperback version on my Kindle just so I can highlight my favorite parts from the book.
- Can possibly cause sleepiness
I listened to this audiobook in various circumstances just so I can fully experience it. One time, I was listening to this audiobook in the car during heavy traffic after a long drive. And oh my goodness, the narrator's voice seems like it's slowly putting me to sleep. I can't really focus on what the narrator is saying anymore so I just stopped it and changed to regular music. I ended up having to listen that part again because I don't want to miss any content.
- Difficult to rewind
Since my listening kind of suck, there are times when I had to go back because I missed something. That's pretty annoying to do when listening to an audiobook with a regular music player, because I have to drag the slider to the exact time that I wanted, but I usually dragged too much.
Those are some pros and cons that I've experience through my first audiobook experience so far. When I get the chance to listen to another audiobook with the proper app, I will probably make another updated post on my audiobook experience because I think this format of reading might take me a little bit more time to get used to. So next, I will talk about the audiobook apps!
Audible / Overdrive App
There are two brands that I know of, which are Audible ( iOS | Android ) and Overdrive ( iOS | Android ). Audible has been producing and selling audiobooks for many years and is owned by Amazon since 2008. Audible has its' own app to listen to audiobook which you can access through your computer, mp3 player, tablet, kindle, and also your smartphone. Audible is actually the first thing that I know about audiobook because a lot of booktubers have been promoting it in their videos. Since then, I was intrigued by the idea of an audiobook and decided to download the app to get a free audiobook.
Here are some of Audible features that I got from the app download page and also some that I added on my own:
• Transfer books to your device over wi-fi
• Chapter navigation, bookmarking, sleep mode, variable narration speed, button-free mode
• 30 seconds rewind / fast forward button
• Multitasking for background downloading and listening
• Earn badges and keep track of your listening habits
• NEW! Switch between reading and listening with Whispersync for Voice (compatible Kindle app or device required)
• Connect to Facebook and Twitter to let your friends know what you’re listening to
• Get insider information about author events and more with the Audible Newsfeed
Obviously, all these amazing features makes listening to audiobooks much easier and a lot more convenient.
As for Overdrive, I actually don't know much about it but I've also heard some booktubers mentioned it in their videos. A little bit different from Audible, Overdrive is an app that can also be used read e-books aside from listening to audiobooks. And in Overdrive, the concept is like a library where you borrow these e-books / audiobooks—not buy them. A lot of their items are only available for certain countries though; so I couldn't do a thorough research on this app. If you have any information to add about this app, feel free to comment down below :) But basically, the audiobook features are more or less the same like Audible.
I guess that's it for this post of me sharing my first audiobook experience! I really want to give this format another try and with the appropriate app next time so I can fully enjoy the experience. And since I'm so used to paperbacks and e-books, I think it might take me a little bit more time to adapt to this new format. What about you? Have you ever tried listening to an audiobook before? If you have, feel free to share your own experience below :) Or if you haven't, are you interested to try it out? I know this is kind of a random post but hopefully it's informative or helpful in some ways. Okay, bye now!