On Audiobooks

ed817ca2853ccff1a0e4c843913047b3 (Note: Posts are currently scheduled.)

Once upon a time, there was only one place to go for audiobooks (on cassettes no less!): The RNIB. Now, thanks to the internet, we have a dozen sources of audiobooks and, even better, they’re now mainstream. People, both visually impaired and otherwise, can enjoy them. Even better nearly all the books I want to read are made available the day of their print publication.

I’m a hard-core convert, for example, to Audible.com, an Amazon company which specialises in audiobooks. I actually prefer the US incarnation, though I have subscriptions to both them and the UK incarnation. The US version has more books, including some which have yet to be published in the UK due to licensing.

Ebooks are great but audiobooks are much more immersive; I can listen to them on the bus, at the gym, walking through Norwich. Last time I checked, it’s impossible to read a book and walk. Especially when blind. I have favourite authors but I also have favourite narrators, they’re actually really important as a bad reading can kill my love for a book in less than two minutes. I’m long expressed my love for Luke Daniels, Mary Robinette Kowal and Robin Miles.

When my visual issues and reduced attention span, an audiobook is a much easier medium to keep my attention. Books have to be really, really good (and often non-ficition and biographies) to keep me scrolling. Some are series, some are one shots, other novellas but the most important thing is: they’re usually well produced and unabridged. The best thing is, you don’t actually need to be blind to enjoy them so here are some of my favourites in no particular order of awesomeness:

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