BAND September 2011 – Audiobooks and Nonfiction
B.A.N.D., Bloggers’ Alliance of Nonfiction Devotees, launched in July and is being run by a small group of bloggers as a way to promote the love of nonfiction amount bloggers. Each month a discussion question will be put forward giving everyone and anyone the chance to respond. If you are interested in hosting a month do check out the tumblr site and let us know!
Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness hosted the first discussion, asking What’s your favorite type of nonfiction? in July. In August I led the discussion, asking How did you get into nonfiction? This month Cass is hosting and she wants to know about nonfiction audiobooks. She asked (see her post here):
If you’ve listened to non-fiction audio books before: What did you enjoy most about the experience? What’s your favorite non-fiction audio book?
If you haven’t listened to non-fiction audio books, I offer you this challenge: dare to try a non-fiction audio book, then write a review or a post about your experience.
Until this year I had listened to a total of, I think, 1 audiobook, ever. I then ended up working on a client site for which the drive from the hotel to the office was about an hour, which meant two hours of driving each day. I quickly turned to my Audible subscription and started picking new books!
I’ve tried a number of different types of audiobooks, with mixed success. My issue is that when I’m reading I often reread passages, turn back to reread a page or two, or just stop to think about what is being discussed. Especially with nonfiction, I like to stop my reading and consider what is being said, think through the issue being discussed, and just generally take my time. I am also a big note taker and I use the notes both as a summary after reading and as help in writing my reviews (I love adding quotes!).
With audiobooks, especially while listening on the iPhone connected to the car while driving, it is fairly impossible to easily stop and think or to take notes. I think if these two items were addressed I would enjoy audiobooks more. Also if they had better narrators that didn’t annoy me. Perhaps too if I had more time for listening, rather than simply driving. With my job I can’t listen during work which I know is what a lot of people do.
That being said, I’ve listened to 13 audiobooks so far this year and have many more lined up to listen to eventually, whenever I get the chance. I’m finding it best to stick to narrative type nonfiction that is less heavy and less scholarly than what I would usually go for as I tend to miss some of the facts and generally remember less.
Nonfiction I’ve enjoyed on audio this year include The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexandra Robbins, and The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.
What about you – do you enjoy audiobooks as a way to read nonfiction?