Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another Favorite

It seems like many of my posts come across as advertisements (I have yet to receive any royalties or freebies as a result), but when I find something that affects my life in a positive way it is hard for me not to pass along the information. If you know anything about me then you know I love to read. It is, possibly, my only hobby (does that make me a tiny bit pathetic?). There was a time when I thought that audio books were only for long car rides and didn't really count as actually reading the book. But a few years ago I was a little pressed for time and had to read Great Expectations (for the third time). I thought that I would give the audio version a try and ended up buying it at Borders. It was actually an enjoyable experience and I felt like I was using my driving time (which, like any mom, I do A LOT of) more wisely and, additionally, I was not reading while driving--something I have been known to do (only at stop lights! Sheesh!). But in the world of iPods I was looking for something downloadable and cheaper than $30 per book for a set of cds. That is when I found audible.com. You may have already heard about it but I am here to tell you that it is awesome. You can actually sign up as a member and there is monthly fee, but it is WAY cheaper than buying the CD set or even paying full price through audible or any other online store.

Let me break it down for you (using my particular membership--$15 per month for 1 credit as an example):


-Almost every book, regardless of length, costs 1 credit (prices vary without a membership but I estimate an average of about $30.00 per book).

--The credits carry over so that you don't have to use one per month if you don't want to.

--Audible maintains your library in cyberspace so you can download and re-download to your computer at any time.

--You have ownership. If you want to load a particular book onto more than one MP3 player--go for it! It belongs to you (unlike downloading from iTunes).

--They have great customer service. I once inadvertently downloaded an abridged version of a book. I contacted them via e-mail and almost immediately received a response indicating that the unabridged version could now be found in my library and was ready to download.

--They carry everything out there and sometimes have multiple choices for particular books.


--I can't think of any. (Technically this would be a PRO, I think).


--Audible offers a listening sample for every book. Take the time to make sure you find the narrator's voice pleasing. I listened to Fahrenheit 451 read by the author and wanted to shoot myself by the end. This is also helpful if there is more than one choice of narrator.

--Not every book lends itself to being read aloud. For instance, while reading The Time Traveler's Wife I thought multiple times how glad I was that I hadn't chose to listen to it in an audio version. Because of the nature of the story (every chapter taking place in a different time and place), it would have been aggravating not to be able to flip back in the book and recall what had taken place and where previously in the story.

Having listened to many audio versions to date I have found that it often adds to my enjoyment of a book. Two examples are Bel Canto and The Count of Monte Cristo where it was helpful to hear the correct pronunciations of the many foreign words and names.

A few of my favorites: The Woman in White (read by different narrators when appropriate); Water for Elephants (also read by two narrators); and The Kite Runner (read flawlessly by the author). This is, by no means, a comprehensive list.

I guess we all know now why I will never actually be paid to advertise anything: I completely lack the ability to be concise! I hope that won't deter you from checking out audible.com.

P.S. They are running a special right now where you can get the first three months for $7.95 instead of $14.95. What a deal!


Bridget said...

So great to know, Jenn! Thanks so much for sharing your information on all things. I never knew about audible.com and will love to check it out.

Speaking of sharing your great information...I made your Washington Pie for my Dad's birthday party and it was a hit. Thank you for the recipe.

Keep all of your tidbits flowing. It helps us all. Love your blog. It is so much fun!

Chris and Karen said...

it's a good thing that I started to read again now we can still be friends. I was getting worried.

Jana said...

Ooh! Don't get me started! That looks like fun!

Linda said...

Cool! I'll have to check it out. Maybe that would be a way for me to read without "sitting" around and just reading. I hope I don't wait to long before the special is over with!

Natalie said...

I'm going to sign up. Very cool.

Aivaz Family said...

It sounds good, but I'm pretty sure its just another thing that will distract me from my duties. Also, I'm pretty sure all I would listen to is Twilight. Over and over and over. I like you. A whole lot.

Becky said...

Great just great, another way to read. Just what I needed.

Mel said...

What a great idea- thanks for the info! I swear you read like three books a day- maybe this is the only way I can keep up with you. :)

Britain said...

You are serious about your books. I love it!

Hacking it up said...

I have GOT to sign up for this!! I really enjoy reading, but on long driving trips, it's nice to listen to them! I just finished reading the Count of Monte Cristo...and I'm quite certain that I mispronounced everything...
We listened to the Kite Runner on one of our driving trips...I HATED that book!!! It made me sad. I almost bought Water for Elephants when I was at Target the other day...is it good as in Kite Runner good, or happy good?

Anonymous said...

What is Water for Elephants? I haven't heard of it... I LOVE Audible.com I have over 40 audio books in my library....and you are right....It rocks!

I even listen to my ipod at times when I am watching my kids sports events.....haha...I can WATCH and listen...with one earplug in (yea just like a real nerd!) I prefer to refer to it as "multi-tasking"....

Bridget said...

Just signed up! Excited to pick my first book. Any recommendations?