Friday, September 14, 2012

You Can Keep Your Hearing Books

The 42 hour drive I took across the country seemed like a great time to try my hand at audiobooks.  What else what I going to listen to streaking across Oklahoma?  Bible thumping on AM isn't quite my thing, I can only listen to my iPod music so much and constantly scanning for FM stations as I drove through zones would have eventually driven me insane.  So about $60 later I downloaded THE MAP OF TIME by Felix J. Palma, DARK COMPANION by Marta Acosta and WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr to take me on my trip.  I was especially excited for  THE MAP OF TIME.  It just seemed like the type of book that would translate really well into audio form.

I originally stayed away from audiobooks mainly because I felt that I wouldn't pay attention to them if I listened.  When I read books I READ them, absorbing the words through my eyeballs.  It sinks in really well that way and I THOUGHT it wouldn't work for me the other way because while I CAN listen really well, when it comes to the radio I tend to get Shiny Object Syndrome and only half-listen to anything I hear.  But on a cross-country drive what could possibly draw my attention away from an audiobook?  Corn?  Cattle?  It just made sense to try.

And fail.  What could draw my attention away from the book?  How about the wind noise in the soft top Jeep Wrangler I was driving?  Or my dog constantly trying to get into the back seat (of which I finally gave in and just let him crawl around, as long as it wasn't on my lap I was okay with it).  Or how about my ability to completely zone out while driving, drifting into auto-pilot mode and not hearing most of what I was listening to.  And this was five minutes into the drive.  I wasn't even out of the state yet.  I just couldn't involve myself in the story the same way I could reading a book, probably because when I'm reading that's all I'm doing.  I'm focused on the story and the words are etching themselves onto my gray matter.  With the audiobooks the words just grazed my mind and then slipped away.  I couldn't hold onto anything and as a result I really couldn't enjoy the book.

Granted the talking calmed my dog a lot.  Every time I switched it over to some music it got my dog riled and anxious.  Flip it back to the audiobook and he settled right down.  So it became background noise for the duration of my drive.  Read: the majority of it.  And I became a little cranky that I sank money into COPIES of books already in my possession that I'm now not going to use.  They're all DRM-filled too so I can't transfer them, I don't think.  Otherwise I'd give them to someone that'll actually use them.

I tried.  I had a strong feeling in my gut area before that I wouldn't like audiobooks.  Now I have a bonafide feeling in my brain area that audiobooks just aren't for me.  How do you feel about audiobooks?  Do you partake or avoid them?
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