I just finished my first mp3 audio book. My previous audio books have been on tape, and have been kids' books played in the van. I was poking around my library's website and found that they had audio book downloads and since this was a book I had been wanting to read, and since I was heading on vacation, I thought I try it.
Twenty Questions is part of Debbie Macomber's Blossom Street series. If you are not familiar with this series, it is set on a street in Seattle, a street that has recently undergone some gentrification. The series started in a yarn shop and followed the lives of ladies taking knitting lessons. It then branched out to the flower shop, and this one features the owner of the bookstore. It begins in the bookstore on Valentine's night. One book club that met there had several widows who had become friends. At their party that night they decided to make a list of twenty wishes and see what they can do to make those wishes come true. In the next year two of the widows fall in love with men far different than you would expect, and one enters a relationship with an eight year old girl (yes, a decent relationship). Other inhabitants of Blossom Street make brief appearances. It was a sweet but pretty fluffy book. I suspect the ending could be predicted by most people after a couple of chapters. It was typical Macomber, and I enjoyed it.
As I noted, I don't generally listen to audio books. If you've read this blog for long, you've probably figured that either I have nothing to do all day, or I read very quickly. The second is true, not the first. Had I read Twenty Questions, I have little doubt that I could have finished it in less than half the time I had to spend listening to it; and for that reason alone, I doubt I'll be spending much time listening to audio books. I'm not sure if my second problem is an audio book problem or an equipment problem. I have a cheap Sansa Clip MP3 player, not an Ipod or Zune. As far as music goes, it does what I want, so I see no reason to upgrade. However with this audio book I found myself wishing for a rewind button. The book downloaded as nine files, each lasting about an hour. Twice I pushed the wrong button and had to listen to part of a file I'd already heard. Luckily, at both times I was pretty close to the beginning of the file. There were a couple of times I was interrupted and would have liked to rewind a couple of minutes, but I didn't want to go back to the beginning of the file, so I chose not to do so. I will say that listening to someone read the story does give me more time for form pictures in my mind and I liked the way the reader changed her voice for the different characters. I suppose audio books could be a nice way to entertain youself during a long commute, but since I don't have one of those, and just can't see myself becoming a regular user of them.
What about you? Do you listen to audio books? How do you like the format?