Audiobook Preferences

Some quick thoughts on audiobook presentations:

Sound effects: I am usually not a fan. I want my audiobook to be more like a regular book than a radio program.

Multiple narrators: I like it when the book is in first person. Otherwise give me one narrator. I mean, the voice in my head is always female and I still manage to successfully read books about boys.

Changing narrators over the course of a series: I find it jarring at first. If the new narrator is good, I can adapt, but I prefer consistency with a series.

Other things I’ve discovered:

  • I usually prefer male narrators. I hate saying this, being not male myself, but it’s true. I still listen to plenty of female narrators but some of the men just have these TERRIFIC audiobook voices (*cough* Robertson Dean *cough*).
  • Nonlinear novels are tough for me in audio. Unless there are good markers, I get confused.
  • Books that I would put down in print because they get slow or are a bit long, I can continue to listen to for far longer. Which is great at getting to those nonfiction books and classic novels.

What do you like in your audiobook?


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12 thoughts on “Audiobook Preferences

  1. Lisa June 7, 2011 / 9:04 am

    What are your thoughts on the author as narrator?

    Personally, I generally prefer it even if the voice is not as great. I like knowing the tone the author intended when writing dialogue or, in non-fiction, editorial comments on a subject. I have been known to listen to a book I have already read just to hear the author’s version.


    • Michelle June 7, 2011 / 9:29 am

      Ooh, that’s a good topic. I think the only author-narrated audiobooks I’ve listened to are Bossypants and Stardust. And Tina Fey and Neil Gaiman are uber talented so it’s not a good sample. Oh, and David Sedaris who is also good.

      So I guess I like it but I could see how it could also be problematic. Some authors should stick to writing.


  2. Melissa @ Mel's Books and Info June 7, 2011 / 10:28 am

    I agree that it can be jarring when they change narrators over the course of a series. The one where this threw me the most was with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series where in the middle the narrator changed from C. J. Critt to Lorelei King. After a while I got used to the change, but it was hard at first when you were so used to what you thought the characters voice would sound like. I agree with you on sound effects–I prefer my books without them too! Great post!


  3. Jen - Devourer of Books June 7, 2011 / 10:36 am

    Some of the absolutely most skilled narrators I’ve listened to are women, but there is definitely something to be said for some of those men’s sexy voices (sigh, Robertson Dean).


  4. Nise' June 7, 2011 / 11:06 am

    I have not experienced a narrator change in a series yet. I like to listen especially when there are hard to pronounce names or places to hear the correct way rather than the way it sounds in my head.


  5. zibilee June 7, 2011 / 11:28 am

    I also don’t like sound effects in my audiobooks, but I don’t mind multiple narrators.


  6. JoAnn June 7, 2011 / 11:29 am

    I’m not big on sound effects, but I do enjoy multiple narrators – especially in a book that’s told from alternating viewpoints. Audios can make nonfiction and classics easier for me to get through, too.


  7. Kristin T. June 7, 2011 / 1:30 pm

    The first two audio books I ever listened to were part of a series and they used different narrators. I loved the first one and wasn’t that thrilled with the second narrator.

    My answer to today’s questions can be found here.


  8. Literate Housewife June 7, 2011 / 9:24 pm

    It is perfect what you say about multiple narrators when they are unnecessary. The voice I hear in my head is always female unless I’m reading in print a book that was well narrated *cough* Simon Vance *cough* the first time around. 🙂


  9. Kristie June 8, 2011 / 8:43 pm

    “Books that I would put down in print because they get slow or are a bit long, I can continue to listen to for far longer. Which is great at getting to those nonfiction books and classic novels.”

    I totally agree. After trying to read The Hobbit two or three times in print, I finally gave it a try on audiobook–and I got through it!


  10. BookishlyFab June 9, 2011 / 3:01 pm

    I really don’t like full cast recordings or sound effects either. I listened to a full cast recording of Graceling, and it was so cheesy I cringed at times.


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