Today is the second day of We’re Listening: Audiobook Week 2013. Hosted for the fourth year by Jen at Devourer of Books, Audiobook Week runs June 17–21. It’s a fun way to find audiobook reviewers and see what everyone’s listening to. Today’s prompt is about how we choose our audiobooks.

How do you decide what you’ll listen to? Do you mostly listen, or split time between listening and reading? Particularly if you split time, how do you decide what you’ll consume in audio and what in print?

I mentioned yesterday that I tend to listen to mainly mysteries with the occasional romance thrown in. I need things that are light, that don’t take too much though, since I’m usually doing something else while listening and I can’t focus on too much detail or overly complicated plots. Lots of characters can get a little confusing too. For the most part, I choose from what’s available at my library, but lately I’ve received a few for review. They’re just so expensive to buy and I have trouble paying a monthly fee to a lending service.

My ration between listening and reading is about 50/50. As to how I decide what I’ll read in print versus listen to really comes down to how it’s available, although there are some series, like Louise Penny’s Gamache, Leon’s Brunetti and Rendell’s Wexford that I usually listen to. It’s almost like if I start a series on audio, that’s my preference for the rest of the series. I have never read and listened to the same book at the same time, which I guess is an option with the Whispersynch.

I tend to read classics in print rather than listen to them. I think, for me, the language tends to work better in print. For example, I would never listen to Pride and Prejudice, although I enjoy reading it. The one exception I made was for The Phantom of the Opera and that was a mistake. Now vintage mysteries are perfect on audio.

So, do you split your time between audio and print? How do you decide which books to read and which to listen to?


  • I get the majority of my audiobooks from the library, too. I just can’t seem to justify buying them and luckily I’m able to find just about anything I want at the library.

    I’m always doing something else while listening, too – walking, gardening, cooking, cleaning, driving, etc. It does help to have a book that’s easy to follow along with. I haven’t tried any of the classics on audio yet – might try one to see if I like it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    ~Kristin @ Always With a Book

  • I can’t listen to anything too complex on audio either as I’m usually doing something else at the same time. I can’t wait to see your post on Thursday about what you do while you listen. Since 90% of my listening time is in the car and my commute is about to be cut, I’m searching for new ideas!

  • Yes, audiobooks are expensive. I got my mother a gift certificate for Audible a while back (because she wanted to listen to all the Stephen King Dark Tower novels), and she seemed to like that, but only for those books.

  • I get most of my books from the library, also. Audiobooks are so expensive. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually bought a regular-priced one (I do have an audible subscription to get those few that aren’t at the library).

  • I was fascinated by your reasons and preferences. I do not do audio. I just don’t think it appeals to me at all. I keep thinking it might be fun in the car but it’s too much trouble to actually get the audio…lol…my conundrum!

  • TBM

    When I lived in the States I would listen to some books. and yes, I selected easy reads. Now that I live in London there is a fee to checkout audiobooks from the library. It’s a nominal fee, but it does add up so I haven’t been listening as much lately. It’s a shame really since I love to always have a book of any type with me.

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