Listening to audio books has its pros and cons, naturally. The biggest negative is not being able to flip back a few pages or several chapters to re-read something, and then flip back to where you were. Also, if for example, your boyfriend wants to listen to a shitty CD in your car, and he ejects the disc…you lose your place.
Surprisingly, cassettes have the advantage in that case, because you can transfer a tape from stereo to stereo and hold your place.
On the plus side, if the reader is skilled, they can really perform the hell out of a book, and that can be fun. Al Franken’s Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them was like listening to politically charged stand-up.
Also, you know how some books go on a little too long describing something…when you’re listening to it, you can kind of zone out and get through it, rather than having to make the difficult choice between slogging through it on paper or consciously skipping it.
Here’s the thing that’s thrown me every time with the audio books. You don’t know when they’re going to end. Even when you’re in the high numbered tracks on the last disc, you don’t have the benefit of knowing that you have only a few pages, then a few paragraphs, then a few words, before it’s over.
Imagine my surprise with Bee Season, when I was nearing the end of disc 10 of an 11-disc set, to hear the words “The End.” Disc 11, it turned out, was an interview with the author, which was great, but boy, I was expecting another hour of story!