I recently hit a wall with a book I was reading (Caraval by Stephanie Garber). I was getting bored with the book but I wasn't sure whether I wanted to drop it or not. Then I remembered I had a code thing from OwlCrate for an extended audio excerpt and decided to download it onto my iPod. I'd never listened to an audiobook unless you count those books that came with accompanying tapes that I remember from my childhood and I've been hearing how much people are loving audiobooks so I decided to give it a try.
Here is my opinion on listening to books versus reading them:
1: For this particular book, I hated the narrator's voice, especially when she tried to speak for the different characters. It reminded me of this one episode of Murder, She Wrote where Mrs. Fletcher had created a detective character for her grandnieces and nephews and they decided to make it into a puppet tv show using the voice of a woman with "1000 voices" - and they all sounded stupid.
2. I know people say how convenient audiobooks are: they can listen to them in the car on the way to work, they can listen to them while working out, etc. But for me, it wasn't like that at all. Seriously, unless I was in my room listening to the book after I'd turned off the lights and the tv, I couldn't focus. And even then the digital clock distracted me as I tried to focus on what the narrator was reading. This may be a "me" issue, I tend to zone out when someone is trying to read me something.
3. I'm afraid of not retaining what I'm hearing. When I'm reading a book, seeing the words on the page, I can absorb the story and get lost in it. While I remember parts of what I heard, I can't remember it that well...
4. I'm on the fence about much quicker it would be to listen to an audiobook vs. reading the actual book. Sometimes if a book moves quickly I can finish reading it in a day or two, but if it drags and it's taking forever (like Caraval) maybe it would get me through it quicker. It's something to think about with books that are really long and/or a slow read.
Audiobooks may be more convenient for some, and in the future, it might come in handy when I'm having difficulty getting through a book I'm reading, but I still prefer reading over listening. It also really depends on the narrator.