Romance Readers Reading Challenges discussion

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) Ok, I am just curious what you guys think about audio books? I just haven't brought myself to try this out yet. For some reason, I have it in my mind that hearing the book in someone else's voice would mess with my imagination and my thoughts on the events and characters in the book. Am I missing out?

message 2: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Personally, I love audiobooks. I always have one in my car and I listened to it during my daily commute to work.

True, readers can make and break a book, but I've discovered I find more good readers than bad. Furthermore, there are books and writing styles that I find easier to listen than most.

Here is a link to a previous discussion we have about this same topic if you like to check:

message 3: by Toni (new)

Toni | 255 comments I am a big fan of audiobooks and try to listen to at least one audiobook a month. And I agree with Yz, I have found more good readers than bad. With the really good readers you also forget that there is only one reader. I would recommend listening to audiobooks but nothing can take the place of a real book.

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) I'm not a big fan of audiobooks because I enjoy reading the book(s) myself. The only time I've enjoyed audiobooks are the Harry Potter series books, which I've already read once. So it's like revisiting an old friend. With a new book, I figure I'll be so busy doing other stuff I'd miss parts of the plot that were important.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I can only listen to audiobooks when I'm driving. Otherwise, I fall asleep. That being said, there are certain authors whose books I don't enjoy reading, but I love listening to them. I always listen to Patricia Cornwell and Jonathan Kellerman. For some reason, I just don't like them as much in print.

message 6: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michelle154) | 152 comments I absolutely love audiobooks as I have a very long commute to and from work. I do listen to books on my computer too while I do other things also. That is not to say I do not absolutely love reading the print books too. I do agree with Briansgirl that the Harry Potter books are excellent on audiobooks. I am glad for one they have audiobooks!

message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) Thanks for all of your comments. I'm going to do a little research and get one. I have more than an hour drive every day to and from work so I'm going to try it out. Thanks for all of your opinions.

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) The library is a cheap way to try out audiobooks before buying some as they are expensive. I found an unbelievable deal on the first four Harry Potter audiobooks on cassette. I found them at a thrift shop for $1 each (3 of them were still sealed in plastic). For $4, I couldn't pass up four HP audiobooks.

message 9: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) That's a great idea! Thx briansgirl!

message 10: by K. (last edited Aug 20, 2009 07:42PM) (new)

K. (kodoharty) | 73 comments Mary: I absolutely LOVE audiobooks, and listen to about an average of 6 per month (digital download on my iPhone). I also read another 5 or 6 physical books a month, so overall I get a lot of "books" under my belt. As an experienced audio listener of books, I always give the following advice to new listeners:

~DO NOT treat an audiobook or approach it with the same attitude as you would "reading" a book yourself. Think about it more as if you are about to start a "movie." A completely different form of entertainment. Audiobooks with great readers tend to entertain the same way "listening" to a movie would. The beauty is, you don't "miss" any parts of the books.

~Audiobooks are best listened to while doing other mundane chores or activities. Those that don't require you to "read" something else at the same time, but activities that you might, say, listen to the radio at the same time as. I generally listen for parts of my job that I can do out of "rote," or while doing housecleaning, gardening, or exercising. Like "Eyre" said, however, I tend to fall asleep if I'm trying to "stare into space" while listening to a book. It's also great to have an audiobook when "waiting in any kind of line" in life! ;)

~A bad reader can ABSOLUTELY ruin an audiobook, no matter how good it is in print (I need to re-read both Lisa Kleypas "Smooth Talking Stranger," and Christine Feehan's "Dark Prince," as the audiobook readers for these two books are so completely awful . . . I can't listen to them read the books without cringing. I have NO idea about the stories to any great degee, as I'm trying to filter out the bad acting job the reader is doing! Impossible.

~Like acquiring a taste for "coffee" or "beer," it takes practice and patience to somtimes learn how to enjoy an audiobook. Getting "used to" females doing male voices, and vice versa, can be difficult, even with the best readers, but with some practice, you'll find you adjust to the good ones, and the really good ones, have great voice change ability to begin with.

~If you're going to try a few out, I've listened to just under about 100, so here's the best of the best romance books on audio:

Deeper by Megan Hart (erotic romance/unconventional ending)
The Indiscretion by Judith Ivory (historical)
The Proposition by Judith Ivory (historical)
Beast by Judith Ivory (historical)
Sleeping Beauty by Judity Ivory (historical)
Kiss of the Highlander (or any of the Highlander series) by Karen Marie Moning (time travel/PNR/historial)
Simply series by Mary Balogh (regency)
Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (time travel/historical/adventure)
Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (Vampire PNR/Chik-lit mystery)

Any of this books are winners. They have it all: Great stories with extremely talented readers that will keep you captivated. Good luck and I hope it works out for you. :)

message 11: by Arch (new)

Arch I like my own inner voice. But, I do have to say that I have bought For The Roses Audio books, two Saturdays ago and I will listen to it or at least try. I will be rereading For The Roses soon. I might start on it Saturday.

I have to visit Cole Clayborne.

message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) Thanks for the advice, K. And, good luck to you on your new audio books Arch. I'm visiting library today to see what I can find by way of audio. I was thinking Harry Potter or the Sookie Stackhouse series suggested by K. We'll see....

message 13: by Arch (new)

Arch It might be a while, before I listen to For The Roses audio book. I've started the book last night. I needed my Cole fix.

message 14: by K. (new)

K. (kodoharty) | 73 comments Janet: The accents are important to me as well. I have a fairly "international" family, and am a pretty good mimic, so I always "read" my books with the appropriate accent myself. I wouldn't expect the reader on the audiobook to do any less. Although there are a lot of actual British actors that do a lot of the historicals, Barbara Rosenblat is one of the best American readers I've listened to that can do ecellent accents from all over and men that sound distinctly like men. Ditto on Phil Gigante (he does an incredible Scottish brogue on the Highlander series books by Moning).

LOL! Since it's obvious I listen to romantica as well as all types of romances . . . no problem here with listening to an erotic scene between the H/h. :)

message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) Ok, I went to the library and checked out Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. They didn't have much to choose from but that sparked my interest. They said that I could come back with a list and they would find audio books from other branches and have them sent to my branch. That's pretty awesome. I listened to the first 2 CDs this morning and am enjoying them so far. Thanks to all of you guys for convincing me to take the leap!!

message 16: by Kasia (new)

Kasia Go Mary, Go Mary!

message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) I'm hooked, thanks to all of you. I was able to listen to and finish Dear John in 5 days while continuing to read my "paper" book, too. I am about to begin "Dracula". Thanks again to all of you!!

message 18: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments I tell you, once you get past the adjustment stage, audiobooks can be addictive.

I've found myself parked in the driveway but not getting out of the car yet because I want to finish a chapter...LOL! It definitely makes use of that commuting time.

Have fun listening, Mary!

message 19: by K. (last edited Aug 29, 2009 11:06AM) (new)

K. (kodoharty) | 73 comments Janet: I sometimes do the same as you and fall asleep listening to one of my audiobooks - LOL! Actually, if I can't sleep I know that it will PUT ME TO SLEEP! :D Not that it's boring, in fact it would be nice if I could just "listen and do nothing." but that's impossible for me (HA!). I was always read to as a child, and I think that might have something to do with it actually!! ;) (No wonder parents always read to their children at night -- it works!)

FYI (everyone), digital download is the best deal on audiobooks for your MP3 player or iPod/iPhone. The Platinum membership is the best, but it requires a full payment at once of $229 (by credit card). It gives you 24 credits (1 credit usually worth 1 book), which only amounts to about $9.50 an audiobook. This is the best deal, but audible also offers other memberships which award credits by the month and a small payment once per month, so there are a number of ways to make audiobooks fit anyone's budget.

Additionally, your local library system is also a REALLY GOOD source of audiobooks for loan (right from your computer!). You DOWNLOAD THEM TO YOUR COMPUTER AND PLAYERS! (Yup! :) Here is the link to the interlibrary overdrive site that locates your library (even other countries than the U.S.) and what's available there on audiobook. Of course, all it takes is your library card, so budget-wise it works for most everyone that has library services in their area. Check it out!! :)

At my library, I can even request the library to buy a particular audiobook I'm interested in for purchase into the collection of the libary! It's awesome! Instructions on how to get started are very simple, and work as well as the audible site as far as entering the type of player you intend to use the audiobooks on (even burning to a CD is available if you listen to them in your car!).

I hope everyone takes advantage of this service. Have fun listening! :)

Link to Overdrive site to find your library:

message 20: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) All of the information posted by K. & Janet is great. I'll have to do some legwork here. I'm listening to Dracula right now which is very interesting and terrifying at the same time. I live in a small town so there was a very small selection of audio books so I'm definitely going to have to do some additional work to get the books I want.

message 21: by susan (new)

susan | 1 comments Susan wrote;before my husbands mother had a stroke,she loved to read,so we would take and read to her at times,it helped to relaxe her,so I seen these books on tapes and thought I would try it on her,and it was the best thing we could have done for her,her nurses would put them on and she seemed happy,it was the best medicine for her,so I tried it I'm sick a lot and don't feel like reading just put on one,problem solved

message 22: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) What a touching story, Susan! We're so lucky that we have books for comfort. So many people out there that don't appreciate them.

message 23: by Wild for Wilde (new)

Wild for Wilde (wildforwilde) | 11 comments Mary wrote: "Ok, I am just curious what you guys think about audio books? I just haven't brought myself to try this out yet. For some reason, I have it in my mind that hearing the book in someone else's voice..."

I don't like audiobooks except on long car trips. When I had to do 12/13hr car trips to drive to college they made the trips seem like 6hrs instead! I prefer reading paper or ebooks when I am not doing long car trips because I like going at my own pace and it's easier to stop. I feel like audiobooks are kinda cheating and not really reading haha so I guess to sum it up, read less important/frivolous books on audio but the ones you want to savor, stick with paper or electronic! Hope this helped

message 24: by Arch (new)

Arch It's easier to go back to a certain spot in book than a audio book.

What would one do if an audio book is on cassette tape and the tape recorder pulls the tape or even if it's on CD and the CD gets stratched.

message 25: by KarenH (new)

KarenH I absolutely LOVE audio books. I read romance novels exclusively, and when I first discovered audio books I was surprised at the huge selection available through digital download at places like and itunes. Now I always have a book downloaded to my Zen player and listen when I'm grocery shopping, cleaning, driving, etc. It's amazing how a book can totally come to life with a good narrator; and, since the story is read verbatim from the physical book, I don't feel like I am cheating myself out of anything by not actually "reading" the words myself.* I read during my spare time and listen during my "non-spare" time and have found this to be a perfect way to disprove Frank Zappa's quote "so many little time." Happy listening!

*there are 2 types of audio books, and when choosing a book it is important to know which type you will be listening to:
"Unabridged" is when the narrator is actually reading the physical book word-for-word so nothing is lost by making a "senses switch" from sight to sound. Unabridged audios average about 7-16 hours long but by popular opinion are the only way to listen to a good book. (I agree!)
"Abridged" is a condensed version of a book and IMO comparable to a lengthy, detailed synopsis. They are cheaper to buy than unabridged audios and much shorter in length (avg. 2 hours), so you get the gist of the story but not the detail. Abridged audios are the "cliff notes" of the genre; therefore, someone listening to an abridged version of a book will not have the complete impact of the story that someone reading the physical book or listening to an unabridged version will have.

message 26: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments I'm a big audiobook addict, but I refused to listen to an "abridged" version of any book.

message 27: by Laura (new)

Laura | 5 comments Both.

There is a place for both I think. If I have the time, I prefer to read it myself, but if I am traveling, walking, riding in a vehicle, etc, where reading is not an option audio books are fantastic.

My husband is an avid audio book listener. He says reading hurts his eyes (yes, he's been to the optometrist) and/or makes him sleepy, so he prefers listening.

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