So, our team got into an interesting discussion with Martha Dunlop (a paranormal writer and author) about audio books. She is doing a little survey right now if you all might be interested, but she asked a really good question and now I am curious as to your thoughts on it.
Do any of us listen to audio books?
And... whether you do or do not listen, how do you feel about giving each character their own distinct voice or accent?
@Josey I don't know if it's because my mom used to read to me before I went to sleep and, since she worked late a lot, that included a cassette of her reading stories and stuff... I don't know if that got me conditioned in some way, but... Audiobooks put me to sleep almost immediately. And that bothers me because, you know, I'll listen to one and then by the end I don't know wth the story was. -.-
So I personally prefer to read.
However, we discussed things like making an illustrated audiobook for our series after we rewrite it and other such things like that, and I'm personally all for giving characters their own voices.
Despite everyone raving about audio books, I have yet to try them because I have a hard time focusing on a page, and if someone is talking endlessly, I'm tend to forget to listen >.< (Plus it's really hard to find a good person to read it.)
As for voices, I think it adds something when you can distinguish who is talking from who, with or without a dialogue tag to help you. It just adds a sense of realism-- even people that grow up in the same family/neighborhood/what have you aren't all going to talk exactly alike to one another. They'll talk similarly, but not identically.
Short answer no. I've often thought I should try non-fiction in audio form, because I find it really tough to get through most non-fiction books unless they have spectacular pacing.
The thing is, I absolutely love podcasts, which are becoming more and more like audiobooks themselves - see S-Town and The Truth (which is a dialogue without the narration).
I think what I don't particularly like about the idea of audio books is that you can't control the pacing, and if you don't like the voice-acting you're screwed for enjoying the rest of the story...
@Blackbird The only voice I can handle reading me a book is Stephen Fry. I totally get the whole audiobooks can put me to sleep. My other big problem is the voice has to be right. One of the things I love about reading is hearing what i want the voices to sound like. I feel that the moment you start to do unique voices, or an audiobook, it's almost like a radio show.
@typical_demigod - Finding that voice though. That and pacing!
@Sian I find that audio books are way toooo slow for me. It's almost like if I wanted to enjoy it, I need the speed to be at like 2.5 or 4x in order to keep up with my mind.
@Josey I rotate listening to audiobooks and podcasts when I'm at work and have downtime. I love audiobooks if they're done well. I'm not a fan of the narrator using accents or changing their voices in major ways. If it's a whole cast of actors that's the best but I've found it to be rare.