I just finished my first audiobook in, I think, ever. We upgraded our insanely slow dial-up to significantly faster DSL, and I checked out an e-audiobook from the library. I downloaded it to my computer, transferred it to my MP3 player and went merrily on my way.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to Cranford, but I did miss a couple of things from the reading experience.
First, books are easy to pick up at put down at a moment's notice. I don't mind reading while the kids are playing nicely, because I can always hear what is going on and intervene as necessary. I didn't feel like I could do that with the audiobook, because I was always paying more attention to one or the other. Plus, if I needed to intervene I was stuck trying to pause it, then having to rewind (so to speak) to catch what I missed.
I ended up listening to most of it in the evenings while Tom was working on homework, and the kids were already in bed, but more often than not, Tom would try to talk to me, and I would have to fish the player out of my pocket, pause it, pull the earbuds out, ask him to repeat his comment, then reassemble myself and skip back to find out what I missed when I was trying to catch what Tom was saying.
This, of course, means that it took me much longer to get through (adding to the fact that I read silently much more quickly than one can read aloud). Conveniently, this book was not one that I felt the compulsive need to finish as quickly as possible, like I usually do. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but the plot was not so enthralling and fast-paced as to banish all other thoughts from my mind.
Next, this particular book had endnotes, which I like looking up and reading to improve my understanding of the book and the time period. I don't always catch (or understand) the allusions to period cultural events and expectations to which the author made reference.
Finally, since the book was read by someone with an English accent, (which I loved,) I spent the whole book thinking this guy's name was "Jim," but when I looked in the book, it's actually "Jem." Now, I know that's not critical, but I like to have their names right nonetheless.
What are your thoughts on audiobooks? Which have you enjoyed/hated listening to?