I’m an avid, and quick, reader, and love to have a good book on the go at all times. When the city library announced it was closing due to the Coronavirus situation, meaning a very extended loan-period, I stocked up on as many books as I could: the “to-be-read” pile at home soon got a little larger – funny how it never actually goes down!
I’d never considered listening to an audiobook before making the list – I thought they were reserved for those people with long commutes, or for those that go on long walks and runs. When I realised I could listen to a book I’ve wanted to read for a while, for free, my soon opinion changed. Due to the copyright expiring, a lot of classic books are in the public domain – something I’ve been aware of but never actually taken advantage of until now. I’ve wanted to read Jane Eyre for a long time, but somehow never got round to it, so today was the day I finally dived in.
I found the great website, Loyal Books that has a full selection of public domain audio and ebooks, and started streaming Chapter 1.
Firstly, I found it incredibly relaxing, there was something so soothing about it that I hadn’t expected, and secondly, I found it very evocative. I was there, in the library with Jane, as her reading was disturbed. However, as I continued through a few chapters (I listened for nearly an hour to give it a fair try), I realised I couldn’t sit still and just listen: I’d get fidgety and lose concentration, and resort to doing something else at the same time. As soon as I did that, I lost whatever was happening in the story and soon got bored.
I can see where audiobooks have their place, but for me, it’s definitely not at home. I would try one if I was going on a long walk or train journey, but they won’t be my first choice of experiencing a book. A nice idea, but not for me.