Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Audio books: Are they KIDDING?

Last night I spent several hours loading all of my favorite music CDs on the 60-gig iPod my hunk o' burnin' love gave me for Christmas. I was able to fill only a tiny fraction of that massive storage space, so I cruised over to Audible.com thinking I'd download a few books. A couple of minutes later, I had to peel my eyebrows off the ceiling.

Friends, "expensive" is not even the word. The prices on recorded books are absolutely hilarious. Most seem to go for 3-4 times their cover prices. I gasped when I spotted a Dee Henderson title for forty bucks. For the cost of one audio romance novel you could buy three softcover books--and you might even have enough money left to get yourself a Godiva chocolate bar.

Foolish consumer that I am, I downloaded three audio books just to see what all the fuss is about. I'm guessing that after listening to these books once, I'll delete them from my iPod, so where's the value to those of us who are not sight-impaired? What am I missing? Would anyone like to speak up on behalf of audio books? (If I'm not here, please leave a message. I'm heading over to iTunes right now to buy some more music.)


rlh said...

I am an Audible.com subscriber. For $14.95 per month (less than $10/mo if you pay a year at a time), you get one book per month. I always get the most expensive book I can for the credit. For example, I just got the entire NIV Bible that sells for $99 (I think) for one credit. I Don't Know How She Does It goes for close to $50.

I always have an audio book going in my car. I burn them to CD although I can run them from my iPod.

Listening to books on tape is the only way I can begin to keep up with my reading.

I also download music all the time from iTunes. Love it, love it, love it.


pacatrue said...

I have never been an audio book man myself but I have relatives who live by them. It seems to do with being able to listen and do stuff at the same time. My father listens to book after book while in the car when he used to spend many hours each week driving back and forth across the state of Louisiana. My wife likes to listen to them when working on some project. She puts a mystery on and works on a collage for 4 hours straight.

LaShaunda said...


I get my books on tape from the library. I bought one at a discount books. I only listen to it once. So I'll stick to the library.

I might have to check out audible.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Something about the printed word that I adore. i tried listening to an audio book in my car once...I almost ran off the road...can't do that. But music is great!

Camy Tang said...

I absolutely love books on tape. There's nothing better when I'm driving in the car or walking the dog. I'm totally stoked Harlequin has so many MP3s of their books through audible. It's pretty expensive, though. I think the cheapest is if you get the Platinum yearly thing and pay for 24 credits all at once, which comes out to $9.60 a book or something like that. I'd use those up fast, no prob.

Karen said...

Hi Brenda,

I rent audio books from Simplyaudiobooks.com.

I pay $25 a month for an unlimited selection of audio books though they only allow two titles to be out at the same time. I love these guys! Their service is impeccable and the CD's come in a postage paid box so it costs me nothing to mail them back.

I listen to the books on my iPod mini while I'm exercising and thanks to a nifty Christmas present, (a Griffin iTrip transmitter for my iPod) I can listen to the books on my iPod through my car speakers while I'm driving!

I still prefer the written word, but with life as hectic as it is nowadays, audio books are a good compromise. IMO, Audiobooks are almost better than music - almost.

Enjoy your new iPod!

Brenda Coulter said...

I appreciate your comments, friends. I can totally see the attraction of being able to listen to a book while driving or exercising or doing housework and so on.

I'm listening to one of my downloaded books right now, an old Janet Evanovich novel, and I'm more than a little bugged by the reader, who's really hamming it up. I'm not talking about her doing the different voices; that part is actually pretty good. It's the narrative that she's messing up with all this ridiculous excitement about even the most about mundane details. (The sun was shining brightly on the sleepy little town!)

Has anyone else been annoyed by such things, or am I just turning into a cranky old lady? ;-)

Anonymous said...

you cranky ? I don't think so :)

Anonymous said...

this might be a day too late, but i never really got audiobooks, i'd much rather read the book, i'd probably go ADD while listening to it and miss half the book. although i'd have to say that a dee henderson audio book is totally worth $40. She is the best ever!(love you Brenda, but i'm more of a suspense girl myself, although your book is pretty amazing, it's right next to dee on my bookshelf!) also,i've noticed that the scenes in romance novels that are all mushy when read aloud just sound completely ridiculous!

Brenda Coulter said...

Thanks, anonymous, for letting my book snuggle next to a Dee Henderson. ;-)