Never judge an audiobook by its cover! There is much more to picking an audiobook than just the plot. The narrator and format also play an important part.
Audiobooks are different to their paper counterparts and when buying a new audiobook there are often many things to consider.
The listening experience introduces a new dimension when choosing an audiobook. With paper books it is simply a case of deciding whether a reader enjoys an author’s writing. With an audiobook, however, a narrator is taking the author’s words and is using their skill and expertise to read this in an engaging manner to the listener. A poor narrator can take an exciting and well written book and make it a monotoned boring listen. Correspondingly a narrator can inject too much of their personality into a book and alter some of the finer subtitles of the text through their reading.
Tip: Many audiobook online stores and publisher’s websites offer the opportunity to listen to clips of audiobooks. This is a good way to get an appreciation of the narrator and their style of reading.
Abridged or Unabridged Audiobooks?
Many audiobooks are available in both abridged and unabridged versions. The abridged versions can differ from the original book as the abridger will have recrafted the plot to reduce the number of hours that the book plays over. While a listener may be daunted by an audiobook that is played over many hours or not want the inconvenience of a book that spreads over many files, unabridged audiobooks are the closest to the paper original.
Tip: Digital downloads of mp3 files are a convenient way of accessing large audiofiles. Several large audiobook files can be held on an smartphone or any mp3 player .
64 Kbps Vs 32 kbps Digital Download Format
The format of the audiobook is an important consideration. For listeners who want to listen with better quality, for instance Audible offers 64 kbps sound quality which is more ideal. Other listeners may want to listen to 32 kbps an audiobook in a car or through a audioplayer without noticing the real difference.
Tip: Audible and audiobooks.com offers a full range of formats. It is also possible to choose the formats, however, this sometimes requires a level of technical expertise depending on the format and playing device.
Reading Audiobook Reviews
Reviews are a great way to find out more about an audiobook. The advent of customer submitted reviews on websites such as Amazon mean that people have a great choice when it comes to finding book reviews. Both professional and customer reviews offer an insight into a book and whether it is worth purchasing. It is important to remember, however, that many reviews are of paper versions and not of the audiobook version. When deciding what audiobook to buy a review of the total package needs to be given and this includes narrator and any other features such as the quality of the abridging or the type of format.