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Topic: Books on Tape vs. Print

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Subject: Books on Tape vs. Print
Date Posted: 5/15/2008 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
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Is there any advantage to listening to books on tape, other than the obvious - my eyesight is fine?  I was just wondering if I'm missing out on anything.  I love to read the actual book, and never thought that I would want to listen to the stories.  I don't think that I would want to hear a female reading a man's dialogue and vice versa.  I'm assuming that's how they are done.  Am I wrong about that, or is there anything that I might really enjoy about them?  My local library has them for sale often, quite cheap, and I've seen some that I would be interested in, but I never pay much attention.  Should I give any a try?  Also, I would be annoyed at background music.  Do they have that?

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 24,888
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I listen to them all the time!  I have a 35-40 minute one way commute to work.  I plug in a book and I'm good to go!

Few have music except as an interlude between chapters and or discs.  Sometimes if you hear music, you know the one you're listening to is going to end soon and you can dig out the next.

Most of the readers have a variety of voices and while it may always be a female (or male) reader, they read well enough that you don't notice they're reading a guy's part.  I mean, you don't stop to think Oh this is a woman reading a male's part.

You might see if your library has them to borrow and give that a try first unless they really are cheap enough to buy.  You might start with a book you like and see how you do with it.

I haven't listened to my radio since the beginning of the year because I just listen to books instead!

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2007
Posts: 13
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It depends. I've read and listened to all the 'Harry Potter' stories and found that Jim Dale has brought nuances to the stories I wouldn't have otherwise noticed. Same with the audio of 'Da Vinci Code'.   I read the book eons ago and when I heard the audio, the actor brought the story to a new level.

How the audioboods are read, with music or not, may depend on the types of stories. None of the ones I've listened to had any music in the background, just in the opening and closing titles.

Also, when commuting, this makes the time go by faster when stuck in traffic.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 217
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I like to listen to them if I am on a long car trip. I can't read while riding without getting sick so it is a happy medium for me. I enjoyed the concept the few times I have tried it. I did have the misfortune of getting a book that I didn’t like once, so that kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, but it was due to the story not the book - on - tape portion. I definitely recommend them if you have an occasion for one.

Jess

 

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
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I love them but I have found there are better ones than others. I hate to say it but listening to a romance doesn't do it for me. I'll read my own sex scenes, thank you very much. lol The only ones that come close are the In Death series and the woman that reads that series is amazing and does a great job with all of the characters.

I have been listening to Lilian Braun's Cat Who mysteries and they are wonderful!! That actor is so funny with the cat yowls and such.

I listen to them instead of the radio going back and forth to work too. Of course they are wonderful for long trips too.  Try one!

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
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Thanks for your responses.  I did think about the genre being a concern.  I mostly read romances and can see how they might be a little weird to listen to on tape.  Sounds like mysteries or romances that are more action oriented would work the best.  And I'm glad that they don't normally have a lot of music on them.  I listened to a snippet from a book on tape (can't remember what) and there was music playing in the background the entire time.  That was really annoying. 

I don't even know where the books on tape section is in our library, although I'm sure they must have one.  I will look that over the next time I go and try one out.

I don't have a long commute to work or anything, but I do love to cross-stitch and haven't had time lately due to all of the reading I've been doing.  Now I can combine the two.

 

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 24,888
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My all time favourite book on CD is Nora Roberts Northern Lights.  I've listened to it I don't know how many times.  Its the one I won't get rid of and the one I can just shove any of the CDs in and start from there.

And it doesn't bother me to listen to someone else read the sex scenes.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I've thought more than once that it might be a little weird to listen to romances - especially the steamy ones - on tape, so I haven't even tried to go there.  I'd like - NOT - to see myself listening to one of the ones with the urky sex terms in there.  Eww...  I can't imagine "pulsating manhood" or something a whole lot worse being read aloud:P

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I listen to them on the way to work, and really would prefer to stick to mysteries or short stories rather than romance.  I actually got my first love scene in an audiobook on the way to work this morning, and I felt icky and voyeuristic just listening to it on the way to the office.  I suppose that context is everything, since it doesn't bother me to read that at home.

The one downside of listening on your commute, is that you tend to get to work during some really bad stopping points in the story.

Also, I just finished Rule of Four last week - 11 unabridged CD's.  While I loved the book I was just tired of it after a while. 

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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It depends on the book for me.  I listened to Outlander on CD and never wanted to leave the car!  It really brought  out a new dimension to it hearing someone else "translate" it.

Sherri

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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I'm an audio book addict - gimme romance on audio with a good narrator!! I strap that ipod around my neck, and I can wash dishes, drive, knit, even - though I don't do this very often - clean house!

A good narrator makes all the difference - yes, it's one person reading the story to you.  Very few audio books are "productions" with a narrator for each character - I can't even imagine how that would work, although I have listened to them with 2 narrators, like Time Traveler's Wife has a woman read from Clare's POV and a man read from Henry's POV. The good narrator does character voices, and bring so much to life that you will find new things you didn't catch when you read it. Now I even find myself "narrating" some books to myself just to prevent myself from my bad habit of skimming and missing details!

I read the entire Outlander series first, then started collecting the audio books from audible.com (1-4 now available) - Davina Porter is such a good narrator! Really, I had missed so many details on the first reading. Her English and Scots accents are perfect. I have all the SEP books on audio, with Anna Fields/Kate Fleming - an incredibly gifted narrator who unfortunately died in an accident about 1.5 years ago. She even has different regional accents down pat. I have 3 Julia Quinns, with Simon Prebble narrator - and he is wonderful. His Lady Danbury voice is a hoot, and his Violet so wonderful and warm, and well, his Michael in "When He Was Wicked"... Ahhh. Like honey.

I guess it's not for everyone, but I love romance audio books! However - I do want to warn you about listening to anything funny (I mean LOL funny) while having your teeth cleaned at the dentist. Been there, done that, and it's not pretty to spit on your hygienist, ok? Especially when you can't really explain it to her with a mouth full of dental equipment.

Angie -
Date Posted: 5/16/2008 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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I do love SEP's audio.

Another good time for them is working out.

The Stephanie Plum series reader is pretty good too.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
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I hate the abridged books! It's really hard to find unabridged, at least it has been for me. That is why I like the Cat books. The In Death books I'm listening to are abridged and (not sure how many of you read this series) but they leave "the button" out of the story for some reason. This "button" is referred to in many of the books and it broke my heart not to hear about it. (Major warm and fuzzy where the guy ends up with a button from one of her suits, that fell off, and he keeps it on him at all times).

Hmmmm I never thought about the Outlander books. I'll bet those are hard to come by. Maybe I'll check Ebay. :)

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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I think the best way to get audio books affordably is through audible.com - they have a new-member deal where you get a reduced price for - I think - 3 months, something like $7.50/month for 1 credit (that's only for 3 months). 1 credit will get you the entire Outlander book (not series), which you can download and if you don't have an ipod or mp3 player, you can burn it to disc. (Of course, they can't be sold or traded after download.) They seem to have sales pretty frequently so if you're like me (addicted and spending too much) you can save some money!!

I agree about abridged audio books - very frustrating (yeah, leaving out The Button is not good!!)! Don't get the abridged Outlander series, for sure - they are less than HALF the books!

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
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Hmmm thanks!! That is something to think about. I had never heard of that place before. I'll check it out. :D

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I listen to them in the car on longer trips sometimes - last time I listened to the abridged Janet Evanovich's 4,5,6 and the trip went by fast (half on the way up and hal on the way back). I also like some kid's books on tape/cd like 'a year down yonder', boxcar c hildren, judy blume...) a friend of mine who does quilting does a lot of handwork(quieter than the sewing machine like I use!) and she always listens to them on tape/cd and loves it.

hmm..wouldn't mind getting some ellora's cave on cd or mp3...wonder if they have those??

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Oops wrong thread...



Last Edited on: 5/16/08 1:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/16/2008 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
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I haven't read Outlander yet, and it seems pretty daunting to me right now.  I can't make myself pick up such a huge book at the moment, but it might be interesting to listen to it.  And I would definitely look for unabridged tapes/cds because I would hate to have so much left out.  It could get confusing, and I stay confused enough as it is.  Downloading it might work for me if the library doesn't have it.  I have tons of blank cds that I could download onto.  Thanks for the information about that.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
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I'm another audio nut as of about two years ago.  I love "reading" while doing boring mundane chores, or craft projects, or whatever!  Yup, a good narrator makes all the difference!

I also agree that the abridged versions are a turn-off.  They're about as appealing as a regular book riddled with sensored, blacked-out sections of text!  The ones condensed to 2 cassettes are the worst, and the reason I used to think I didn't like audios.  There's no depth or detail left to the story, and the narrators have to read at the pace of an auctioneer!

Date Posted: 5/17/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 392
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I don't know about all libraries, but our library lets us access a system called NetLibrary where we can download books for free and burn them to CD's.  The titles are kind of hit and miss; for example they have 4 Stephanie Plum books (by Evanovich), all unabridged, books 1,4,5 and 6.  So, a little aggrivating that you have to find the other books from a different source, but the price is right :)  Oh, and of course, just borrowing directly from the library is good too.  Our library is small, but we can get tons of titles through ILL.

I have to agree with some of the previous posters, my favorite books on tape are the HP series read by Jim Dale (he actually won a grammy for one of them) and the Stephanie Plum books read by Lori Petty (these are the abridged ones, but worth listening to IMO because she nails what I think Stephanie's voice would sound like).  DH really likes Ruth Rendell's book in audio format and he will actually listen to a Sandra Brown, but would never be caught dead reading one, lol!

I have never read the Outlander series, planned to do so this summer, now I will have to see if I can find them to listen to after I read the books :)

ETA- I don't know whether the reader is any good or not, but NetLibrary had the first 3 JD Robb books in unabridged format.



Last Edited on: 5/17/08 6:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/17/2008 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
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I love audio books! I had a couple of jobs where I did data entry and they sure made the day go faster. It was really embarassing when I would get to a really funny part in the books and was laughing like a hyena at work lol. Boy I really miss listening to books but with the job I have now I can't *sigh*.

I listened to some romances but the ones I listened to most were action or mysteries. I also listened to all the Stephanie Plum and "In Death" books.

 

Date Posted: 5/18/2008 1:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I love audiobooks. I have been really busy this week getting my house ready to go on the market.  I had to mail out a swap book that I didn't even finish because I just didn't hae time to sit and read and the deadline to mail was up.  I just ordered another one from our inter-library exchange service on audio cd because I know I won't have time to read it by the mail by deadline.  With a good narrator you don't even notice that it's a man doing woman's voices or vice-versa. 

But this week, while weeding, spreading mulch, cleaning out the garage, dusting, moving furniture, hanging new blinds, boxing up stuff to take to storage, sortingout grown clothes, scrubbing floors, organizing closets etc....,-I listened to the following books on my IPOD: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, Promise Me by Harlan Coben, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin and Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner.  I downloaded the 1st one from Audible.com and the rest came from the public library. I just downloaded the CDS to my IPOD.  Listening to a good audio book really helps keep me working when I'd rather be sitting and reading or watching TV. 

I got the last Harry Potter book on audio CD.  We're going to listen to it when we make our cross country drive this summer. I already listened to it so I think I'm going to download it to the IPOD for DD to listen to when I want my music in the car. 

They're great for walking too.  I find I actually speed up during a sex scene or a scary scene.  I don't do many romances on audio.  I usually prefer thrillers/mysteries on audio.

Great audio books: The Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben, The Harry Potter books, The Stephanie Plum series, 
The Sookie Stackhouse series, The Woman's Murder Club series, The Isabelle Dalhousie books by Alexander McCall SMith.  I just put The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig on hold at my library-it's checked out.  I offered this book in The New Blood Swap.  But the swap is over now and I haven't read anything but the blurb on the back.  I know I won't have time to read it by the 26th.  So I was really happy to see that the library had it on audio and that no one was waiting for it already.  I should have it within a week because they have an interlibrary transfer system here.   

 

Lori V. (cjsmom) - ,
Date Posted: 5/21/2008 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 423
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I love to listen to Jennifer Cruise books on CD.  It took me awhile to get into the audio thing but I like the funny romance ones.

Date Posted: 5/21/2008 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
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I'm so happy!!! I was able to pick up a new Outlander (28 cds) off of Ebay. It was $25 with shipping but I think it will be worth it. The other sellers were starting the bidding at $50.

Rebecca,

Thanks for the info. I'll have to see if my library has that. Doubtful in this town but you never know. They do have a nice website.

Good to know the unabridged for In Death is out there. I wonder if it is the same reader? I'll have to check that. :)

Date Posted: 5/22/2008 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I just won an Ebay auction for 7 Christine Feehan books from the Dark series on MP3CD for $35 + shipping.  It worked out to like $8/a book which is a great deal. Plus they're all WL here.   I picked up Dark Possession on CD at the library and downloaded it to my IPOD.  Vamps still aren't my favorite but they're growing on me a little.  I like thriller/action type books on audio and so that's why I think I like them this way. 

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