I’d Rather Listen

Today, I finished Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendrick’s book. I listened to it—I really prefer to listen to biographies rather than to physically read them, especially if the author is the one reading the book (and even more especially if it’s an autobiography). I like having that one-step-closer to knowing exactly the tone that the author was going for.

In fact, when it comes to nonfiction of any kind, I often listen to books rather than physically read them. I suppose it goes back to feeling like I’m in a classroom surrounding—someone is teaching me something, out loud—and I always liked learning in that environment.

It also gives me something to think about while I walk the dog in minus-ungodly-degrees weather.

Today, though, as I finished Scrappy Little Nobody, I stopped to really think about what sorts of audiobooks I’ve listened to, and what qualities they had that made me grab them. I find I’ll pick audiobooks for many reasons, but a few reasons came up, over and over, as I looked through my collection:

In Memoriam.jpg

Have I mentioned my audiobook novella?

One, I like to listen to biographies, and nonfiction in general, like I said.

Two, I like to listen to novellas, as they can be finished in a day while I do chores, walk the dog, etc. They’re shorter investments.

Three, conversely, I also like really long audiobooks if I’m about to go on a long drive with my husband. This is how we’ve listened to some really long books, mostly science fiction.

Four, I like to listen to holiday-themed books (like Christmas queer romances) while I’m out in the snow shovelling the driveway or walking the dog in the aforementioned minus-ungodly-degrees weather.

Five, I’m super-loyal to an audiobook performer who can kick verbal ass. For example, if Jason Frazier or Jane Entwhistle read it? I’m way likely to just snap it up, period, before I even finish reading the description.

Six, it’s a great way to find diverse voices (almost literally), in the sense that I can hear the cadence and language and culture of a story when it’s performed well. I enjoy that, and it’s another layer of context for facets of culture I haven’t already encountered.

So, all that said, and selfishly asking as I’ve just broken into the audiobook world with my wee novella In Memoriam (performed wonderfully by Jerry L. Wheeler, by the way), I’m curious: for those of you who do listen to audiobooks, do you have preferences for what types of books you listen to?

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