Mixed Signals

Let me begin by saying, “Thank you”, to everyone who participated in last week’s discussion about traditional Bound Books, eBooks, and eReaders. If you missed that post, you can find it here.

The readers who spoke up covered the gamut from those who only read Bound Books or eBooks, to those who mixed it up and read eBooks when traveling and Bound Books at home.

It seems that the rising price of eBooks is a subject that has many of us concerned. Lauri reminded me that many public libraries have digital licenses for popular books and it is possible to “check one out” online up to 21 days. That sure beats buying a lot of electronic books.

Lauri and eLPy both brought up a subject that I completely missed: Audiobooks. Thank you for the reminder, ladies.

I have friends who drive long distances on a regular basis and many of them listen to books-on-CD. So far I have avoided and resisted the temptation to have my book read to me. I can’t give you a good reason or excuse why that is the case.

The Worm Has Turned

This weekend I got a promotional email from Amazon with an offer to try an audio “Classic”. In it was a list of free books that had an option to to get audio narration for only .99 cents.

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information,
which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail
to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is
contempt prior to investigation.” —Herbert Spencer

Folks, I’m a giver, and I was only thinking about you when I did some further research on the offer. Amazon has made it possible to switch between reading the eBook and listening to the audible narration without losing your place. It is also possible to sync the book across different devices and pick up where you left off.

I downloaded the free version of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 3 and added the audio narration option for .99 cents. I have read a bit and listened briefly to this tome. So far I have not lost my place when switching between text and audio, or when switching between devices.

Image © Amazon.com

Image © Amazon.com

Note to Consumers: The price for the audio narration option varies greatly on Amazon’s site depending on what book you are shopping for. Do your research before placing an order.

Future Tense

I will let you know how my experiment with Audiobooks turns out at a later date. In the meantime:

  • Is it a novelty or a trend?
  • What experience have you had with audiobooks?
  • Do you multitask when you listen to your book?
  • Are you able to retain the storyline effectively between sessions?

Thank you in advance for any insights you share with us.

  13 comments for “Mixed Signals

  1. February 11, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    I’m listening to an audio book right now. “Just Kids” written and narrated by Patti Smith. I borrowed it from the library. My library didn’t have the digital print version, so I decided to give the audio book a try. It’s only the second or third time I’ve tried one. I prefer reading. Audio books take forever and a day to get through, and I have a hard time staying awake while being read to.


    • February 11, 2015 at 6:35 PM

      You might need a program like Lauri’s to speed up the narration.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 11, 2015 at 6:47 PM

        I’m listening to it in Overdrive and I can’t find any speed up feature in the settings. 😦


      • February 11, 2015 at 7:46 PM

        You might look through the comments in this post and find Lauri @ “Whatsonlaurismind”. Ask her how she does it- I bet she will help you.

        Sent from my iPhone


        Liked by 1 person

  2. February 10, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    We listened to audio books on road trips with our kids back when the library was our main source for entertainment. Yes, I was one of “those” kind of moms. We homeschooled our son during the middle school years. Even before then though, books on tape were a great way to sit, have a snack, and just be. Kipling’s Just So Stories were some of our faves.
    Amazon is a marvelous resource. So are public libraries. Thanks for reminding me, Allan.


    • February 10, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      Our first house was across the street from the town’s library and we didn’t have a TV. We were “that” family for a couple of years and it gave our son the chance to develop a life-long love of reading.


  3. February 10, 2015 at 3:29 AM

    I listened to audiobooks for a brief period when I had a brain stem inflammation which left my eyes unable to move properly…. One was dire, r EAF at a very slow pace by someone with no intonation or inflection in his voice. I gave up on that one. The second was excellent, read at a good pace by an actress with a lively voice. I read fast, and sometimes scan pages if the going is a bit monotonous, so I find it hard adjusting to someone else’s pace!
    I love my bound books, and there is nothing quite like the feel, the rustle of a page, the weight, the smell of a book!!


    • February 10, 2015 at 7:37 AM

      Thanks for your comments, Sue. The smell of books is a strong memory for a lot of us. Perhaps some smart guy will come up with a scratch-and-sniff feature on an eReader tablet cover so that it smells like an old book.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. February 9, 2015 at 7:19 PM

    I do multitask while listening to audio books, usually chores. I find even when my device is at max volume, there are some books that sound level is much lower. There are some activities that require me to pause my listening, such as washing dishes or switching laundry from washer to dryer.

    Overdrive has a feature to playback faster or slower than normal speed, I listen to most books at 1.25. It doesn’t make the book sound like one of those speed readers of commercial disclaimers, but 1.5 is too fast. It also has a timer to automatically shut off the book at 15 minute intervals. I set it for 30 minutes and fall asleep to the reading. I can bookmark anytime, which I do when I set the timer so I have a point to fall back on.

    I don’t think it is a novelty, but I don’t think bound books will vanish in my lifetime. Sadly, I don’t think too many people under the age of 30 read anything but blogs and online magazines. I think physical libraries will eventually become nothing more than archives.


    • February 10, 2015 at 7:47 AM

      Thanks for your comments, Lauri, I have not heard of the “speed-up” feature on an audiobook before. I know a few people that could use it in real life to help them get to the point faster—but that is another topic.

      I agree with you that books will not be going away in our lifetimes. A balance of some sort will have to be worked out to appeal to the Hi-tech and the Lo-tech generations.

      Liked by 2 people

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