Are Audiobooks worth it? Audiobooks vs Ebooks




With the recent surge in the audible promotions I assumed there was a lot to check out in the Audio Books section of the book world. Personally, I am quite neutral about audiobooks. I feel they somehow land between the movie adaptation and the actual book. Funnily, where print versions somehow are surviving with the rise of ebooks, there comes a new player increasing the competition.

In the previous days, there used to be plain machine converted audiobooks which read the same text using the Text-to-speech neural network mechanisms. They weren't bad at all, and to be honest, they were quite good considering done by a software push. But to some it wasn't convincing enough. The art of story-telling was actually via the narration and that's how it got converted into books. So, the idea of an actual human reading a book out to you was quite fascinating to many, just like your parent did during your bed time or grandparents telling you some interesting chapter from their lives.

So, with such ideas and presumptions in my mind, I first decided to try out a TTS conversion. It felt weird at the first. Being so habitual with keeping visuals in front I found it difficult to concentrate. I just tried one chapter before I got bored with the accent. I dropped the idea of reading the whole book doing this altogether.

For those who don't know, a few years I had made my own software for Windows and Android which converted your text-based books into audiobooks. It was a really fun experiences working out on that project. So I know what I was looking into before someone just bashes me in the comments.

Getting back to the topic, I headed for the actual audiobook next. I had my doubts now as it should be like watching a movie visuals. Well, not much to my surprise it turned out to be that way. The narration different voices, possibly by voice actors. There was subtle background music as if you have in presentation videos or movie scenes. The narration was actually nice but there was one major con here.

I legit fell asleep. The soothing voice must be calming much which just made me drowsy and when I was off sleeping I never noticed. I did try, to finish the book but bleh, I ended up sleeping. When I tried to listen to it via doing some activity, my focus was instantly lost over the audiobook and headed towards the task I was doing and sitting idle would just drive me sleepy.

What next? I decided that Audiobooks might be nice and good for those who love it, but certainly they're not for me. Although, I liked the text-to-speech approach more where I had text in front of me while the software kept reading for me. I know I am a bit lazy but that was more fun than just listening to someone talking for hours and keep your focus there. It's easy to listen to non-fiction I'd assume but something like fiction which needs imagination and focus, I don't feel its my piece of cake for sure.

I might be happy joining the ebook bandwagon for its sheer number of advantages but not so excited to join the audiobook bandwagon. I have been listening to podcasts but they don't claim such focus since most are just not focus hungry.

If you are wondering whether you should try it out or not, then you should at least give one a try before you jump on conclusion. There are many books on audible which you can give it a try, both free and paid.

If you wonder where to begin with, you can click here and explore the world of audiobooks.


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Also, a minor headsup.... Obsessed is free to read on Kindle Unlimited! Do check it out. I'd be glad to read your reviews!
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2 comments:

  1. Great post Dhawal! I have something similar on my blog too... I haven't tried many audiobooks, actually just 1 which was The Power by Rhonda Byrne, but I want to get into this habit. My love for new paperbacks always stops me and I'm not comfortable reading from a ebook:)

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    1. Sorry for the late reply, I had some issue with my browser making me not able to comment on my own blog. I have tried and used a few of audiobooks and even made one for my own book. Audiobooks feel incomplete to me. Either the narration has to be improved like bringing multiple voices or telling a story like a real person ( for ex relative telling you some story from their day) to bring out most interest. OTherwise people like me will just sleep XD.

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