Audio Books, Anyone?

by Kayla Perrin

Too many books, too little time. That's the motto that pretty much sums up my life these days.

If you're like me, your To Be Read pile isn't a pile, it's a basement full of books. My schedule as a writer is very demanding, which means I don't have as much time to sit down and read as I'd like. (Thankfully, though, I just finished writing my latest book in time for my birthday and now I have some free time to's been non-stop work for me since the beginning of the year!)

So how does a person with not enough hours to read get to enjoy books so she doesn't go insane? She listens to audio books.

I listen to books while I'm driving, while I'm washing the dishes, while I'm mowing the lawn. If I have a long drive--like I recently did when I went to the Romantic Times convention in Columbus--I look forward to it, because it means time for me to listen to a book...or two.

I used to listen to my books on CD, but especially when driving, it can be problematic to have to change discs. So what I do now is upload the CDs onto my computer and make mp3 files that I download onto an mp3 player.

The thing I've discovered along the way is that certain stories just aren't that compelling to listen to on audio. I find my mind wanders with certain readers, for example, and certain books. John Grisham tends to write a lot more detailed narrative passages which aren't that conducive to listening to in audio format--at least for me. Ie, it's easy for my mind to wander. Compared to a Joseph Finder, whose books have a different balance of narrative and dialogue so they make more compelling audio reads. The more dialogue, the better, in my opinion.

Certain audio book readers are better than others. Scott Brick and Holter Graham are two who know how to draw the listener in with their ability to create different voices for each character. Overall, their voices are strong and I don't find myself wandering off into lala land when I listen to them tell a story. I know many authors request Scott, so Holter has been reading more of the books by my favorite authors lately, which has been fine by me. He's just as good. Unfortunately, not all readers are created equally--so some other books on audio I may enjoy if I read them myself, but just can't follow easily when I listen to them.

And perhaps because of the nature of suspense stories, I find them far more easy to listen to on audio than romance, for example. There's the suspenseful music, the cliffhangers that keep you riveted... So as a listener, you tune in more easily.

The best thing for me about audio books is that I'm getting to enjoy a lot more stories than I otherwise would. Recently, I've listened to CAUGHT by Harlan Coben, RICOCHET and some others by Sandra Brown, VANISHED by Joseph Finder, FIRST FAMILY by David Baldacci...and many, many more. I'm sure that when I'm at the nail salon people perceive me as a snob because I want to listen to my mp3 player and enjoy a book rather than engage in small talk. But hey, I've got an extensive TBL pile to get through--"to be listened-to".

And yes, audio books can be very expensive--but take advantage of your public library. Many now offer digital downloads as well as e-book downloads. Like typical library items you borrow, you get an "electronic" copy of the book for between 1-3 weeks. Also, I love, where for a monthly membership fee, you get a certain amount of audio books per month, and also access to free reads and some very discounted audio books. This is how I built up my audio book collection over the past year.

Do you enjoy listening to audio books? If so, who are some of your favorite readers? What types of novels do you prefer to listen to?

My novel, OBSESSION, is available for purchase on This is an erotic thriller. I have a copy of it, of course, but haven't yet listened to the story (I'm kind of nervous too, know what I mean?). The other great thing about is that they let you listen to a short sample of every audio book before you decide to buy.

What are you waiting for--listen to a great book! Today!



  1. Thanks for the kind words! Really enjoyed the pic of all those lonely, unread books. Took me a minute to realize they were behind the velvet rope...


    Scott Brick

  2. Hi, Scott!
    Thanks for reading my blog. I really do love listening to your dramatic reading of a story. You're awesome!


  3. Did you sneak into my apartment and take that picture...?

    I'm not a good candidate for audiobooks. Many people assume because of the arts-oriented type of person I am, that I listen to CBC radio, but I can't handle the talking. And although part of me is interested, I also can't bear the audio commentary on DVD's. My husband has to wait until I'm not in the room in order to listen to that.

    Which is funny, because one of the things I find most attractive in men is their voices! But only in dialogue, which is broken up. The continuous narrative of an audiobook or talk radio makes me freaky.

    But I can definitely see the allure for people who do like to listen to a book. You're finding all of those moments in a busy life that you can reclaim for yourself.

  4. terrific run down Kayla! And Happy Birthday!!! I too have a ton of books in my TBR pile - and that just keeps building - so audio books are def. an option but I love listening to CBC radio when I drive. Sigh. Dilemma! ;)

  5. Your blog really got me thinking, Kayla! Funnily enough I've never been all that into audio books, although I am definitely a 10th level bookworm, if you know what I mean! But after reading your blog I think I might check out a few audio books (which we used to call "books on tape" back when there was such a thing as tape, lol!) if only to listen while I do housework and other mindless (but necessary!) tasks. Great blog, thanks very much!

  6. You hit the nail on the head, Misha. Mindless tasks become somewhat more joyful when you can enjoy an audio book. I can't wash dishes without listening to one.

    Joanna, why not change it up? Listen to CBC radio at one point, then audio books another?

    Julia, I found it took a bit of getting used it easy for your mind to wander in the beginning. But truly, voices make a big difference, which is why listening to someone like Scott Brick is key (at least for me). There's a woman--I won't name her--but any of the books she narrates I can't get into. Not sure why. Her voice just doesn't captivate me. But she works a lot, so maybe it's just a personal thing for me.

  7. Kayla, enjoyed the blog. I'm addicted to audiobooks. Hate it when I don't have one going if I'm driving, cleaning. It's a great way to multitask. Hooked on Scott Brick, to the point I'll try a new author if Scott is the reader.. Dick Hill is another favorite as well as Holter Graham. I'll be sure to download Obsession from audible.

    Vanessa Morman

  8. I have to say I have listened to a few books on tape, but I still like reading the books. If you saw my to be read pile it rivals the corded off picture.

    I hope you have a fabulous birthday!

  9. Kayla - 'There's a woman--I won't name her--but any of the books she narrates I can't get into.' LOL! Nicely put!

  10. Yes, Vanessa--I'm like you. I don't want to be in my car going anywhere and not have an audio book. If I'm about to do some cleaning and realize I forgot to bring down my mp3 player, I have to go get it before I start to clean! I like Dick Hill as well, and I'm with you--if Scott narrates, I'll try the author even if I haven't before! Victor Slazek (sp) narrates a lot of Sandra Brown's books and I like his voice a lot as well.

  11. I enjoyed reading your blog. Keep it that way.


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