Up until about a year and a half ago, I didn’t listen to audiobooks. I know the older versions were available at my public library (read alongs with the book), but I was such a strong reader that I didn’t need audio. Plus, I was faster than the narrator anyway.
I started listening to audiobooks after discovering SYNC’s summer program. They give away two free audiobooks each week during summer. This summer was my third summer. I have found some titles I don’t think I would ever have picked up to read on my own. This past summer, though, I felt quite disinterested in many of the titles. I still have them to give them a try, but I do want to work on the first two years’ books first.
When I started listening to audiobooks I realized I was missing a skill: the ability to listen. I couldn’t multi-task while listening. I mean, I could, but then I would tune out the audiobook. I think part of it is a product of having three loud brothers growing up, but I also know I do tune out when I get invested in my blog or in a writing project. Apparently I pissed off my (former) almost mother-in-law one day because I was “ignoring” her. Honestly, it’s like I’m in an entirely different world where only I and my computer exist. I can go for the entire day without eating, drinking, bathroom breaks or even moving.
This is an area I have to work harder at becoming better. I have to force myself to consciously not tune out because I lose big gaps in the story, and then something will happen or a character will say something, and I pick up on it and think, “Wait. What? When did that happen?” or “This doesn’t make any sense.”
One thing I have noticed with narrators is that I struggle with British narrators. There seems to be a dry tone to their voices and little prosody in the sense of inflection and expression.