Shannon Stacey and audio books

Over the years I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with audiobooks. Mostly off-again. It started with cassette tapes checked out of the library but, after my third trip back to the library with a handful of chewed-up brown tape that used to be tape six of a seven-tape book, we broke up.  We reconciled briefly when my library began offering books on CD, but my CD player could only read “tracks” and wouldn’t pick up exactly where I left off. When a day full of interruptions meant listening to the first five minutes of chapter three about twelve times, I decided audiobooks and I were over for good.

Then came digital. I’m not the most tech-savvy knife in the block, though, and on the rare occasion I managed to get an audiobook onto my mp3 player, I’d find the thing was stuck on shuffle. That makes for a confusing plot. But Audible and iTunes and my iPod Touch have made listening to audiobooks so simple, I’ve been sucked back in and, during this holiday season, I’m very thankful I can “read” on the go.

An audiobook is the perfect company while I declutter and dust all the spaces I put my Christmas knick-knacks, wrap presents and stare at my list, waiting for gift ideas to appear by magic. And that’s on top of regular housecleaning. Amazing how sparkly my floors get when I’m in a really good part of an audiobook! I don’t listen to them while I drive because I lose track of what’s going on in the book while I’m yelling at other drivers, but I know a lot of people who love “reading” during their commutes. They’re also great for knitters, though I haven’t had time to knit so much as a scarf this winter.

Right now I’m listening to The Bride by Julie Garwood (an old favorite, though this is my first time listening to it on audio), and also loaded on the iPod are Completely Smitten by Susan Mallery, The Next Always by Nora Roberts and, if I find myself with a to-do list that’s going to keep me on the move for a long time, 11-22-63 by Stephen King. There are some books I bought for my Kindle I’m now wishing I’d bought in audio because I don’t seem to have any time to sit and read right now.

How do you feel about audiobooks? Have you given them a shot yet or do you prefer reading over listening? Do you have a favorite (either book or narrator) and what are you reading/listening to this week?

Happy holidays!

Shannon Stacey

About Shannon Stacey:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up. You can contact Shannon through her website, where she maintains an almost daily blog, or visit her on Twitter,  her Facebook page, or email her at All of her Carina Press titles are also available as audiobooks from

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I to have a love hate relationship with audio’s. I have a kindle that will read to you but the computer voices never match what I think the person sounds like so it throws my mind off. I am a better visual reader then audio reader I guess. LOL

  2. I haven’t listened to many audio books. I would like to but my most likely way to listen would be in the car, and I almost always have my toddler with me. She prefers Coldplay to audio books. (Not kidding – she sings along!)

  3. I tried audiobooks in the past but reading the book and feeling the pages just felt better to me. I always kept losing my place with the audiobooks because the tapes would end up missing or the CD would start over again.

  4. Not a fan. Hard for me to get into. Reading is relaxing and I get to imagine the voices, go back to a page, etc…Just doesn’t feel the same. Though…we used to say we didn’t think we could like e-readers because of the feel of books, etc…so who knows.

  5. What an interesting topic! I have a hard time paying attention to audio books. I’ve never liked being read to when I can read faster on my own, so my mind wanders. I’ve downloaded a few audio books from the NYPL onto my iPhone but I never finish them. That said, I do somehow manage to have my Kindle read to me. The awful, robotic voice it reads in forces me to pay attention and concentrate on the story, because with every sentence my brain is adding inflection and voice. It’s been good for car rides (I live in NYC so I don’t drive, but I also can’t read in the car) or while doing mindless tasks.

  6. I prefer reading over listening, in fact I’ve never listened to an audiobook. Since I don’t drive and have an extensive iTunes collection, there’s no time that suits listening to an audiobook. Plus, I like to read slowly and process an author’s word choices, flip back and forth between pages, stop whenever I need to without losing my place.

  7. I love audible and my Ipod. I listen every day on my commute to work and if it’s a good book, I find myself sitting in the driveway waiting for the good part to end. Like you, my house is a lot cleaner that ever before and I walk, when the weather cooperates.

  8. For some reason I adore having someone read to me but audiobooks just rub me the wrong way. When I’m on my own, I read. When I’m with others, I do my best to get them to read to me. 🙂

  9. Love audiobooks. I listen to them in the car. Anticipating the next scene in the story helps get my arse out the door and off to work in the morning.

    Faves? Davina Porter’s voicing of the Outlander series, the Troubleshooters series duo, and Susan Erickson (sp?) reading the In Death mysteries. .

  10. I prefer audiobooks for long drives, so I only listen to them a few times a year. I tend to be a little picky about the narrator and I cannot get into the story if I don’t connect with the narrator’s voice. I just started reading Jaci Burton’s The Heart of a Killer.

  11. It really depends on the reader. My favorite reader is George Guidall; he is the best. I also enjoy Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels as read by Nigel Planer, not so much Stephen Briggs. Also, I think Stephen Fry did a better job with the Harry Potter books than Jim Dale (whose Hermione I could not stand). However, I rarely listen to YA or Romances as audiobooks.

  12. I LOVE audiobooks. I’m actually a part of the review team Lea from AAR put together for her Speaking of Audiobooks columns and we have a lively Goodreads group which is open to anyone who likes audiobooks, most particularly romance. I’m listening to Fate’s Edge at the moment and it’s excellent. Renee Raudman narrates and she is one of my favourites.

    I know what you mean about sparkling floors. I have been known to do more housework, exercise or cooking or even take the long way home when I’m engrossed. My husband and 8 year old son listen to audiobooks now too (not romance though) and we’re planning a family listen on our next road trip – probably a Sir Terry Pratchett book which will have universal appeal.

  13. I love listening to audiobooks while doing housework and such things. As much as I wish I could read while doing it, I can’t. So, I’m listening at least. 😉

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